David W. Springer was appointed as Dean of the School of Social Work in June of 2012. Before joining Portland State University, Springer was a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. During his 15-year tenure at UT-Austin, Springer co-founded and directed the Inter-American Institute for Youth Justice and served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2001 to 2011.
Springer’s social work practice experience has included work as a clinical social worker with adolescents and their families in inpatient and outpatient settings and as a school social worker in an alternative learning center with youth recommended for expulsion for serious offenses. More recently, he has focused his efforts on the reform of juvenile justice systems and the delivery of community-based services with youth in the United States and Brazil. His work spans across direct practice, community building, system reform, research, and leadership.
Springer has conducted research funded by various sources, including the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and the RGK Foundation. He has co-authored or co-edited nine books, with his most recent book entitled Juvenile Justice and Delinquency. He has also authored or co-authored over 100 articles, book chapters, and reports that primarily coalesce around juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, and interventions with youth.
Springer has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses over the course of his academic career. At the graduate level, he has taught courses covering the treatment of children and adolescents, juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice, group intervention, leadership as a catalyst for community change, and theories of direct practice. At the undergraduate level, he developed and taught a Freshman Seminar entitled The Art of Being Human: Constructing a Life with Meaning, where students explored how individuals create a meaningful and happy existence. During his tenure at UT-Austin, Springer received a number of university-wide teaching awards for recognition of excellence in teaching and advising, including the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, the Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award, and selection into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.
He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of Girls and Gangs for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the National Scientific and Policy Advisory Council for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and the Advisory Council for Children of All Nations Adoption. Springer has been selected into Who’s Who in Social Sciences Higher Education; Cambridge Who’s Who in Research, Medicine, and Healthcare; Who’s Who in America; and Who’s Who in the World.
He and his wife, Sarah, have a son, Aidan. His personal interests include ultra trail running, surfing, skiing, camping, hiking, and playing guitar.
B.A. in Psychology, Florida State University
M.S.W., Florida State University
Ph.D. in Social Work, Florida State University
Juvenile justice and delinquency; forensic social work; clinical assessment and interventions with adolescents; community-based services with youth; applied psychometric theory and scale development; and leadership in social work higher education.