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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Heller Dean to leave post

Published: January 14, 2005
Section: News

Dean Jack Shonkoff (Heller) will be stepping down on Aug. 31 from his post as Dean of Heller School after eleven years of service, University President Jehuda Reinharz announced in an e-mail to the entire faculty yesterday. This announcement is unexpected because Shonkoff had just accepted a five year extension to his term as Dean of Heller School less than a year ago.

Jack has been a transformational dean, taking Heller to new levels, Provost Marty Krauss told the Hoot in an e-mail. Its now rated #3 among social policy schools.
According to Reinharz's e-mail, Shonkoffs resignation comes from his desire to redirect his energies toward his passionate primary interest in childhood policy and practice.

Due to the timing of the announcement, the Hoot was unable to reach Reinharz for comment. Email to Shonkoff is returned with an automated message stating that he is unavailable until Feb. 1.

During his tenure, Jack has been responsible for leading The Heller School in a major transformation that will help to ensure its continued excellence, Reinharz wrote.

According to Reinharz, Shonkoffs leadership has been instrumental in strengthening Hellers distinctive niche. His tenure saw the changing of Hellers name to reflect its new and expanded role in the higher education community, the introduction of new Masters programs and the integration of the Schools academic and administrative systems. The Heller School also raised almost $36 million in private funds and $2 million in construction grants and will soon break ground for a new building.

Hes a treasure at the university and the larger society for his work on early childhood policy, Krauss told the Hoot. Hes one of the most sought after analysts of early childhood policy in the country.

In the e-mail Reinharz said that Shonkoffs professional life has focused on childhood public policy and on the unacceptable gap between what we know about the needs of young children and what we do to promote their health and well-being.

Prior to becoming dean of the School in 1994, Shonkoff was an academic pediatrician at the Boston Childrens Hospital and Harvard Medical School and later Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Kellogg National Fellowship and elected membership in the Institute of Medecine, and is also the author or editor of nine books and over 120 papers and abstracts. Shonkoff currently chairs the recently-established National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

Luckily, hell continue this work as a faculty member at Heller after he leaves the dean position, Krauss wrote. Hell be a giant to replace.

An executive recruitment firm as well as a campus search committee being put together by Provost Krauss will participate in the search process, with the target date of Sept. 1 for the installation of a new dean.