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KU selects Arizona professor to lead School of Social Welfare

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare will soon have a new dean leading its internationally ranked programs. Michelle Mohr Carney, professor and director of the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, has been named dean of the school and will officially join the KU faculty in July.

“KU is indeed fortunate to have someone with Michelle’s leadership experience and scholarly background joining our team,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi. “I’m confident she will guide the school toward new opportunities and partnerships that address student and societal needs."

Michelle Carney, professor and director of the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, will be the new dean of KU's School of Social Welfare. The KU School of Social Welfare, ranked among the top 20 public programs in the nation, is an innovator in social work theory development and in research that makes positive contributions to communities. The school is the most established social welfare program in the state of Kansas and the only program to offer degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. In addition to the Lawrence campus, the school offers instruction and outreach in the Kansas City metropolitan area as well as western Kansas through Fort Hays State University and Garden City Community College.

"I am very excited to join such a prestigious university and school,” Carney said. “I can't wait to start working with the engaged and productive faculty, and the dedicated staff. The KU School of Social Welfare is poised to be an even greater leader in social work education in the next decade."

Carney has been director of ASU’s School of Social Work since joining the institution in 2014. As director of the school, she oversaw expansion of degree program offerings, increases in enrollment, and the development of two new research centers. Before joining ASU, she spent 10 years in faculty and leadership roles at the University of Georgia. From 1998 to 2004 she was at the University of South Carolina.

Her research expertise includes intimate partner violence, at-risk youths, community practices, leadership development, and collaboration and conflict resolution. Her publications include the book “Women Who Perpetrate Relationship Violence,” several book chapters, and numerous journal articles.

She has consulted and conducted research for dozens of agencies and organizations during her career. Her professional experience also includes employment as a social worker or director at a handful of agencies in the Midwest. Carney has a doctorate in social work from The Ohio State University, a master of science in social administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a bachelor’s degree in social work from The Ohio State University.

Bendapudi said she was thankful for the effort displayed by those involved in the dean search as well as leaders in the school.

“I want to thank the members of the search committee, led by Dean of the School of Law Stephen Mazza, for their important contributions of time and talent to this institution,” Bendapudi said. “I also must acknowledge the dedication and service of Professor and Associate Dean Stephen Kapp, who stepped in to assist as interim dean during this time of transition.”

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