David Springer of University of Texas at Austin named new dean of PSU's School of Social Work
Author: Suzanne Pardington, University Communications
Posted: February 9, 2012

David Springer, an expert in juvenile justice and a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has been named the new dean of Portland State University's School of Social Work. 

Springer is a university distinguished teaching professor in the School of Social Work at UT-Austin, where he is also director of the Inter-American Institute for Youth Justice and served as the associate dean for academic affairs from 2002 to 2011.

"David's accomplishments as a teacher, researcher, and administrator at one of the top-ranked institutions in the country make him an excellent choice to lead the School of Social Work," said Roy Koch, PSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. "He will help broaden our outreach and strengthen our impact on some of the most challenging social issues in Oregon."

In his new role, Springer will lead the only public undergraduate and the only graduate social work program in Oregon. The school, with a 50-year history as a leader in the state's human service field, issues 200 master's degrees per year and generates more than $12 million annually in externally funded research and other projects.  It is home to the Regional Research Institute for Human Services and the Center for Improvement of Children and Family Services, which has extensive research, training and educational partnerships with the Oregon State Department of Human Services. 

Springer said he plans to build on the School of Social Work's strong national reputation for doing research that changes lives. 

"The real draw for me to PSU's School of Social Work is the world-class faculty and the overall strength of the school," said Springer. "I see the School of Social Work as core to the University's mission. The innovative work of the school’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni transforms lives and strengthens communities. I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to serve as their dean and support their efforts."

Springer received his Ph.D. in Social Work from Florida State University, where he also received a Master of Social Work degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and co-authored or co-edited nine books, including his most recent, "Juvenile Justice and Delinquency." He was selected into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, the highest teaching honor awarded to professors at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2007, he served as chairman of a blue-ribbon task force charged with making recommendations for reforming the juvenile justice system in Texas.

Springer will move to Portland with his wife, Sarah, and 8-year-old son, Aidan, in May and will begin his duties June 1.