Superintendent lends voice to the U

by Liala Helal

St. Paul School District Superintendent Patricia Harvey will soon contribute her public education expertise to the University.

She will resign as superintendent Thursday and begin her new job as a senior fellow for state initiatives for the National Center on Education and the Economy, while also working two positions quarter time at the University, beginning Friday.

“I cannot say how proud and happy I am to be a part of this outstanding University,” Harvey said.

University President Bob Bruininks named Harvey a distinguished fellow. In this position she will help lead the K-12 task force managing issues of access and education for students in Minnesota.

She was also named the Carmen Starkson Campbell Endowed Chair in Urban Education, a new position she will temporarily fill in the College of Education and Human Development.

“I think it’s terrific, I’ve been very excited,” said Steve Yussen, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “I expect we’re going to learn a lot in our interactions with her.”

She is the first person named to this position, which was established with a donation from Carmen and Jim Campbell.

“Our hope is that she will work with us to help improve the many programs on urban leadership and teacher education we have in the college,” Yussen said.

Harvey will link the college to state and national leadership groups. She will also give presentations about her work as a school leader and her views on reducing the achievement gap in schools, both locally and nationally, Yussen said.

Geoffrey Maruyama, interim associate vice president for multicultural and academic affairs, will work closely with Harvey in her task force position.

She will deal with issues including how the University will prepare K-12 students to succeed at the University and how to deal with changing demographics, Maruyama said.

“She knows so much about K-12 education and how to set up programs that work,” he said.

Even though she has been involved in education all of her adult life, Harvey said she is looking forward to being on the University’s campus and getting to know students and faculty.

“It’s so fortunate that she’s interested in coming; it’s a great opportunity for us and her,” Maruyama said.

Harvey said she admires the leadership of Bruininks and his direction for the University.

“I’m looking forward to adding my voice to some

wonderful voices regarding what we can do not only for students in K-12 education, but of course making sure Minnesota stays strong,” Harvey said. “I believe that is the University’s mission, and I’m happy to be part of it.”

In her non-University position Harvey will be doing similar work, but on a national level, she said.

She will fulfill her position in the College of Education and Human Development for a year, until the University finds someone to fill the Campbell chair on a permanent basis.

“In the meantime, it’s a good opportunity to honor an outstanding school leader,” Yussen said.