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W&M Education Dean Ginnie McLaughlin '71 to step down in June 2013

  • Dean of Education
    Dean of Education  Ginnie McLaughlin announced today that she is stepping down as the dean of the William & Mary School of Education.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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Virginia McLaughlin ‘71, the longtime dean of William & Mary’s School of Education, will leave the position in the summer of 2013, she announced today.

McLaughlin, who has served as the dean since 1995, plans to take a year of leave following her departure. She will then return to William & Mary as a member of the faculty. A search for a new dean for the school will be conducted next academic year.

“Dean McLaughlin’s importance to the enormous success of our School of Education cannot be overstated,” said President Taylor Reveley.  “Ginnie has been the rock on which the school’s contemporary excellence has been built, whether this is measured in terms of standing in the world of education schools, the training of countless students including a very significant number of William & Mary’s doctoral candidates, a massive infusion of grants to fuel cutting-edge research and programs, the development of important partnerships across the Commonwealth, or the construction of an extraordinary new home for the School of Education that few mortals would have believed could come to pass in such a splendid fashion.  All in all, Ginnie’s has been a deanship for the ages. She leaves this post with our warmest thanks and best wishes.”

A 1971 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of William & Mary, McLaughlin earned her master’s degree from Peabody College and her doctorate from the University of Memphis. She began her career in education as a teacher for the public schools of Greenville and Charleston, S.C. She later served as a member of the faculty at Clemson University and Old Dominion University. Before taking on her current role as dean, McLaughlin served as the chief of staff for then-President Tim Sullivan and as the associate dean of the School of Education.

During her tenure, McLaughlin has led the school to multiple successes, including the acquisition of numerous grants, an increase in partnerships with schools and the completion of a new, state-of-the-art facility for the School of Education. The facility’s opening in 2010 brought all of the school’s people and programs under the same roof for the first time in 20 years. Along with classrooms and faculty offices, the new School of Education includes a professional development center, a technology integration center, a café, a courtyard, open collaborative spaces and areas for the school’s many centers, such as the New Horizons Counseling Center and the Center for Gifted Education. The $48 million project was funded in part by a bond measure approved by the Virginia General Assembly in April 2008 that provided William & Mary with $38 million for construction of the new school.

McLaughlin’s teaching and research interests center on curriculum development and evaluation, and she has directed multiple grants that support teacher and leadership preparation.

“Ginnie is an immensely respected leader in education among her colleagues across the Commonwealth and the nation,” said Provost Michael R. Halleran. “She is also a shining star on this campus and has led the School of Education to national accolades through her tireless advocacy and the collaborations she has built with schools and grant-funding agencies.   Our entire campus has benefitted from her uncommon sense, good cheer and deep commitment to academic excellence.” 

In addition to her work at William & Mary, McLaughlin is a member of multiple community and professional organizations, including the Virginia Network for Women in Higher Education, the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation, and LEAD Historic Triangle. In 2009, she was nominated by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to serve on the Virginia Board of Education, where she has helped with the oversight of Virginia’s public school system, established educational objectives such as the Standard of Accountability, made annual reports to the governor and General Assembly on the condition and needs of public schools, and approved instructional materials for use in schools. McLaughlin also currently serves as the chair of the national Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions.

McLaughlin informed faculty, staff, students and alumni on Thursday that she was stepping down as dean.

“It has indeed been a privilege to serve, and I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished together,” she said in an e-mail.

“Throughout my career, my aspirations have always involved doing work that truly matters with bright and creative colleagues as part of a dynamic community,” McLaughlin said. “This deanship has been the perfect position for me. I continue to believe in the critical importance of educator preparation and research and service to improve our educational systems. Our School of Education faculty, staff, students, and alumni are among the most talented and committed anywhere. And W&M, my alma mater, is an academic community unlike any other.  For these reasons, I have remained here as dean and now want to conclude my career as a faculty member at W&M.”