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School of Education appoints new assistant dean, effective fall 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

LAWRENCE – Michele Casavant joined the dean’s administrative team at the University of Kansas School of Education, effective Sept. 1. Casavant replaced Lon Dehnert, who retired from his role during summer 2019.

Casavant has been with the School of Education since 2003 as the school’s coordinator of advising, and she has served as the director of the advising center since 2009. She also currently leads the school’s Multicultural Scholars Program and has served on several key committees. In her new role, Casavant will take on the support role for the school’s online programs and technology services. Other responsibilities as assistant dean will include continued oversight of the undergraduate advising center and the school's Multicultural Scholars Program. Casavant earned her doctorate in American studies from KU in 2003. Her professional work has focused on equity and inclusion. More information on Casavant can be found here.

“The School of Education at KU has been my professional home for a long time,” Casavant said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to broaden my areas of influence as we continue to grow as a unit.”

Dean Rick Ginsberg announced Casavant’s appointment earlier in the year, and she has spent time shadowing Dehnert to ensure a smooth transition.

“We are lucky to have someone of Michele’s abilities and care to take on the role of assistant dean,” Ginsberg said. “Working closely with Lon [Dehnert] the past several months, she has learned key aspects of the position’s responsibilities while also making adjustments to her role as advising director.”

The KU School of Education is a nationally ranked school serving educators and health, sport, and exercise professionals to prepare them as leaders. The school will change its name to the School of Education and Human Sciences between now and fall 2020. More information on the name change can be found here.  


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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