Karen R. Seashore

Regents Professor

Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education and Human Devlopment, 2010

Regents Professor Karen R. Seashore, Robert Holms Beck Chair of Ideas in Education, is a professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development in the College of Education and Human Development. She is an internationally acclaimed scholar whose research is grounded in social science theory and who is considered to be the most important methodologist in the field of school improvement and school leadership in the last quarter century. Her research has spanned both schools and universities. Professor Seashore's work has been driven by three questions: 1) How do organizations generate and use knowledge? 2) How do the structure and culture of an organization affect its members? 3) How do organizations adapt to changing environments? Her work on entrepreneurial science is said to have changed the understanding of science and research and is considered to be the gold standard of early work on entrepreneurial science. She has published 13 books, 17 major monographs, 73 peer-reviewed articles, and 52 chapters. Her 1998 book on change and stability in organizations is considered to be a "classic." Her 1981 book on urban school reform and school leadership is considered as the "most important volume on urban school reform and school leadership ever written," and her 1999 Handbook of Research in Educational Administration as "a seminal volume in the profession." Her ongoing success in securing grants in her research field, one that does not have many external funding sources, led to the DeWitt Wallace Foundation asking her to play a pivotal role in the most significant recent research project in educational leadership in the last two decades. Her work has received ongoing support by external grants and contracts since the beginning of her dissertation research. Professor Seashore's research has been recognized through an outstanding series of awards and honors including the 2009 Roald F. Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), an association representing major research universities with Ph.D. programs in educational leadership. This award recognizes "senior professors in the field of educational administration whose professional lives have been characterized by extraordinary commitment, excellence, leadership, productivity, generosity, and service." Her appointment to the Rodney S. Wallace Professor of Teaching and Learning "recognized activity that promotes a better understanding of the conceptual foundations underlying critical issues in education." Seashore was twice awarded the William J. Davis Award for the best article in the premier journal, Educational Administration Quarterly. She is considered to be an extraordinary gifted teacher and mentor. One of her former students who went on to become a faculty member at the Institute for Health Policy at Harvard wrote "She is truly an exemplar in her field and someone who forever changed my life." She has advised to completion 55 doctoral students and numerous master students. Twelve have gone on to become university professors, 8 full-time researchers, and 17 high level administrators. In 2007, she was awarded the Robert H. Beck Faculty Teaching Award, which recognizes "excellence in teaching and advising, innovation in academic program development, and outstanding educational leadership." Professor Seashore's service to her department, the college and the University is unparalleled as is her service to her field. She has served on many editorial boards and review panels including the National Science Foundation's Sections on Sociology and on Ethics and Values in Science and Technology, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Spencer Foundation. In addition to serving on numerous University-level committees such as the Faculty Consultative Committee, the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, the Senate Committee on Finance and Planning, and as vice chair of the University Senate, she has served as associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education, as director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, as chair of the Department of Educational Policy and Administration, and as director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. She was also elected vice president of Division A of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the largest and most influential professional association in education in the world. The University of Minnesota is fortunate to count Professor Seashore as one of its own. (Updated, 2010)

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