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Interim Dean Named

Interim Dean for Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside Named

Robert Calfee Stepping Down at End of August, Sharon Duffy to Hold Interim Post

(July 31, 2003)

Sharon A. Duffy named interim dean of the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside

Sharon A. Duffy named interim dean of the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. —— Education Professor Sharon Duffy, a specialist in the study of mental retardation, severe handicaps and special education, has been named interim dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. Current Dean Robert Calfee steps down Aug. 1.

Calfee announced his intention to step down earlier this year to spend more time with his family. He will remain on the faculty at the graduate school, doing research on the nature of human thought processes, and the influence of language and literacy in the development of problem solving and communication.

Duffy received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in special education from UC Riverside in 1979 and 1986, respectively. She worked as a research psychologist on federally funded mental retardation and special education research projects under the auspices of the UCLA-UC Riverside Lanterman Research Group from 1987 until she was hired onto the UC Riverside faculty in 1990. Much of her work since joining the UC Riverside faculty has centered on family and school influences on the development of children with disabilities, mental health and mental retardation, educational technology in special education, and the educational placement of students receiving special education services.

She is currently a consulting editor to the American Journal of Mental Retardation, Mental Retardation, Education and Training of the Mentally Retarded and the Journal on Developmental Disabilities. She is a fellow of the American Association on Mental Retardation, and currently serves on the executive boards of the Gatlinburg Association on Research & Theory in Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities, and of the AAMR Region II at UC Riverside.

At UC Riverside, Duffy serves as co-director of UC Links, an after-school, computer-learning program at Highland Elementary School near the campus. She is a faculty affiliate with the Center for Family Studies at UC Riverside and has served as graduate advisor at the Graduate School of Education since 2000.
Duffy is a co-author of the most recent American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) definition of mental retardation and of the 2002 AAMR manual on terminology and classification in mental retardation. She was a past president of the Academy on Mental Retardation.

Among her professional honors are the Research Award and Education Award from the AAMR Region II in 2001 and 1996, respectively. In 1992, she received the Research Recognition Award from the University of California Presidential Grants for School Improvement program. Duffy received the Exceptional Instructor Award from the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee in 1991. She received the “Women who Make a Difference” faculty award from the UC Riverside Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women in 2001.

Taking the helm of the Graduate School of Education will be a challenge, according to Duffy, but she is confident that the faculty and staff will provide the expertise and support necessary to accomplish the school’s goals.

“I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that are before us in the coming year,” she said. “In spite of bleak economic conditions, we are productively engaged in educationally relevant research and the development of new programs to prepare new teachers and educational leaders of the highest quality.”

Duffy credited Calfee’s five years of leadership at UC Riverside with attracting and completing a number of projects that benefited the school and the surrounding educational community.

“We are very grateful to him for his vision and dedication to the school,” she added.

Calfee arrived at UC Riverside in 1998 after nearly three decades as a professor of education and psychology at Stanford University. During a portion of that time, he was also vice chair of the State of California Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards, which set standards for the public schools. A nationally known expert on language, literature and culture, he also chaired the educational advisory board for the LeapFrog Corporation, maker of a line of educational toys that help teach young children how to sound out letters and read.

During Calfee’s tenure as dean, the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside developed a number of initiatives to make graduate studies more relevant to the classroom, to analyze the vast amount of information generated about school and student performance, to develop educational leaders, and to speed the preparation of high-quality teachers to the classroom.

In December 1999, the Bank of America Foundation announced a $1 million endowment to the school to develop a leadership institute for principals and lead teachers, applying university research to classroom practice. The endowment also funded an annual summit for area educators to discuss and analyze the academic achievement of surrounding schools and students, which has been chronicled in an annual “Report to the Region.”

The school’s faculty and administrators developed a Master’s of Education program for teachers who want to understand the interrelationship of research in education to the classroom, and who want to become administrators or teacher-leaders. The school is also beginning to develop a Masters of Advanced Study in Instructional Leadership, for teachers who want to remain in the classroom but want to apply the latest research in the learning process to their work.

The school has developed the Blended Program of Undergraduate Teacher Preparation, in which students integrate their undergraduate subject-matter classes with education courses and gain early field experience. They then enter the public school classroom as interns upon earning their baccalaureate, where they receive intense district and university support and guidance. The program was developed collaboratively with three neighboring community colleges — Riverside Community College, Chaffey Community College and Pasadena City College — but is open to transfer students from any community college.

The university is finalizing a joint doctoral program in education in partnership with California State University campuses at Los Angeles, Dominguez Hills, Long Beach and San Bernardino to help educate school administrators and faculty for positions in schools and comprehensive universities throughout the region and the state.

The Graduate School of Education is developing and piloting a Web-based electronic professional portfolio system that integrates new teacher testing with a database for tracking teachers’ professional progress. The system, dubbed the Galileo System for Teacher Assessment and Reflection (G*STAR) has become an alternative to a newly mandated state teacher performance test.

The Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside offers distinguished master’s and doctoral programs in curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, institutional leadership and policy studies, school psychology and special education. Its teacher preparation program, one of the UC system’s largest, is recognized for its quality and innovation. U. S. News and World Report recently rated the faculty fifth in the nation in research productivity based on publication records. The School has attracted nearly $11 million in research and grant funds in the past three years. Faculty members are active in various field-based programs, including the California Educational Research Cooperative and the School-University Partnership.
Robert Calfee is stepping down as dean of the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside

Robert Calfee is stepping down as dean of the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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