U.Va.'s Curry School to Host National Consortium of Higher Ed Institutions

September 20, 2010 — The Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia has been chosen as the new headquarters for the University Council for Educational Administration, a national consortium of higher education institutions with a mission to advance the preparation and practice of educational leaders for pre-K-through-12 schools and to create a dynamic base of knowledge on excellence in educational leadership.

UCEA, founded more than 50 years ago by 15 universities, the Kellogg Foundation, the American Association of School Administrators and the regional Centers for Educational Administration, will relocate to the Curry School from the University of Texas at Austin in the summer of 2011.

"We are delighted and honored to have been chosen from among the top education schools in the country to host the headquarters of the UCEA, the pre-eminent national organization for scholarship and advancement of leadership in education administration," Curry School Dean Robert Pianta said.

UCEA is a consortium of just under 100 research universities, primarily from the United States, marked by a distinguishing commitment and capacity to lead the field of educational leadership and administration. UCEA sponsors and conducts activities through inter-university cooperation designed to advance and disseminate research on the essential problems of practice, to improve the preparation and professional development of educational leaders and professors, and to influence policy and practice.

"The University of Virginia's focus on leadership and its deep commitment to quality research makes this an auspicious partnership that is certain to advance the leadership field," said Michelle Young, UCEA's executive director, who will relocate to the Curry School and hire staff once here.

UCEA commits to locating its headquarters at a particular university partner for at least five years. The Curry School submitted a proposal to host the headquarters and was selected over multiple applicants, including Pennsylvania State University and the University of Connecticut.

"As UCEA brings its resources to our nationally recognized faculty and programs in educational leadership, Curry and the University are poised to be the primary driver of evidence-based leadership preparation and practices in education," Pianta said.

These programs include the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education, a collaboration between the Curry School and the Darden Graduate School of Business at U.Va.

Curry's partnership with UCEA will bring opportunities for Curry faculty to expand the footprint of their teaching and scholarship. UCEA's presence at U.Va. will also benefit the collaborative work in educational policy taking place between the Curry School and U.Va.'s newest school, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.  

Pam Tucker, professor of education and coordinator of the administration and supervision program at Curry, said UCEA's move to U.Va. will directly benefit students studying educational leadership at Curry.

"The timing of this venture is opportune for both the Curry School and UCEA and holds promise for numerous collaborative efforts, in terms of research, program development in leadership preparation and policy influence at the national level," Tucker said. 

"The administration and supervision program area has recently re-envisioned the doctorate in education degree to reflect some of the best thinking on how best to prepare school leaders. The redesigned program will launch in the summer of 2011, when the hosting of UCEA happens to begin. UCEA's involvement in this leadership program during its redesign will provide a unique opportunity to share ideas and shape a model program."

During a planning visit this month, Young will give a public address at the Curry School on "Leading and Leveraging Change in Educational Leadership Development: An Essential and Complex Endeavor." Her address will be held on Sept. 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bavaro's Grand Hall.