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May 13, 2005
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858

Social Welfare Dean Ann Weick to retire in summer 2006 after 18 years in post

LAWRENCE -- Ann T. Weick, who has served as dean of the University of Kansas' top ranked School of Social Welfare since 1988, has announced her retirement effective in summer 2006, 30 years after she joined the KU faculty.

" Ann Weick has been the 'senior dean' for several years. Her colleagues and I will miss her sound judgment, her perspicacity and her willingness to mentor new administrators and collaborate with experienced ones, " said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger. "She has been an exceptional leader at KU and has moved the School of Social Welfare forward remarkably during her tenure. While I wish Ann all the best in retirement, I wish our administrative relationship could continue."

A national search for a new dean will begin soon.

During Weick's tenure, the social welfare school gained an eighth in the nation ranking among public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report, and was recognized internationally as an innovator in social work theory development. As dean, Weick has seen external research funding increase four-fold and begin external fundraising activities. The school also created a partnership program with the Kansas City Kansas Community College to provide a KU BSW degree and upper-level social work courses in the Kansas City area.

"During my almost 19 years as dean, I have had many wonderful opportunities to take part in the school's growth and development. The school enjoys the national reputation that attaches to the research and scholarship of stellar senior faculty and talented, new faculty who have been recruited from the best doctoral programs in social work," Weick said. "The school, within the dynamic academic environment of KU, is well-positioned to continue its record of creative program development, research productivity and excellence in social work education under the leadership of a new dean."

The school enrolls about 550 students:160 in the B.S.W. program, 375 in the master's program, and 30 in the Ph.D. program. Nearly 400 students are enrolled in field practicum settings in 190 agencies that reflect the wide range of practice of professional social work. The school also supports research and policy development in a number of key areas, providing leadership and resources at the local, state and national levels for child welfare, aging, child and adult mental health and community development.

Weick joined the KU faculty in 1976 and was named acting dean in September 1987 upon the departure of Dean Patricia Ewalt for the University of Hawaii. She was appointed the permanent dean the following year on July 1. She had served from 1981 to 1988 as chair of the school's doctoral programs. Before joining KU, she had taught at Boston University and the University of Oregon and worked in social service programs in Oregon, Colorado and Alaska.

She was inducted into the KU Women's Hall of Fame in 1992 and received the Outstanding Social Work Faculty Award in 1987.

Weick, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkey, holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Oregon, a master of social work degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a doctoral degree in social policy and planning from Brandeis University. Her research interests include holistic approaches to social work and medical practice, health and social issues of women, alcohol and drug abuse, and developments in social work practice and education.

Social work education began at KU in 1937. The master of social work program, established in Lawrence and at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. in 1946, has been continuously accredited since 1948. The bachelor of social work degree has been awarded since 1971. In 1974, the B.S.W. program became one of the first in the nation to receive accredited status. The Council on Social Work Education , the accrediting body for social work education, most recently reaccredited the B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs in 2002.

The doctoral program admitted its first students in 1981 and is the only program in the state to offer doctoral preparation in the field.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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