Jean Quam to retire from CEHD dean’s role, resume teaching

Jean Quam, the dean of the College of Education and Human Development, has been at the University of Minnesota since 1980.

College of Education and Human Development Dean Jean Quam poses for a portrait in her office on Friday, Oct. 4. 

Parker Johnson

College of Education and Human Development Dean Jean Quam poses for a portrait in her office on Friday, Oct. 4. 

Michael McGough

Jean Quam, the dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, announced last month that she will retire from the position in August.

Quam came to the University as an instructor in 1980, and served as the director of the University’s School of Social Work for about 15 years. She was then the senior associate dean and interim dean for CEHD before formally becoming its dean in 2009. During her tenure as dean, Quam focused on three main priorities: excellence in research, innovation and technology, and diversity and globalization.

Quam said some of the college’s accomplishments during her tenure include holding a conference on first-generation students and the creation of Education Technology Innovations, a program that works with faculty to develop apps and technology.

After stepping down from her position as dean, Quam said she intends to teach for two or three years before retiring. 

“I get very excited about interactions with students, because I don’t get to see students very much in my role as dean,” she said.

In the future, Quam said she hopes members of CEHD will continue to innovate and push boundaries.

“I really encourage faculty, staff and students to be creative and to think about new ways of doing things,” Quam said.

Ryan Warren, the founder and director of Education Technology Innovations, said the college should continue moving in the direction that Quam has taken it in. 

“I think where the college is right now is really needing to find somebody that can enhance and build upon what Jean has established and what she has laid out,” Warren said.

Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson announced last month that she will work with the college to launch a national search for the college’s next dean this fall. 

Hanson is accepting nominations for a search committee that will be responsible for recruiting candidates, screening them and recommending finalists with the help of a national search firm, said Deb Cran, the chief of staff in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. 

In the spring, finalists will come to the University’s campus for public forums and meetings with CEHD students, staff and faculty, Cran said. 

In a public statement, Hanson said the next University provost will name the new dean by the end of next spring semester. 

“The next leader is going to have to understand the breadth of the college, as well as be very willing to take risks to set us apart,” Warren said.