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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Linda A. Acciardo, 874-2116

National school reform expert at URI
accepts Louisville position

Robert Felner will continue to direct
work of URI’s national education center

KINGSTON -- June 27, 2003 -- Robert Felner, who joined the University of Rhode Island in 1996 as a nationally renowned school reform researcher, has been named dean of the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development. He will continue to direct the statewide work of the National Center on Public Education and Social Policy at URI, but step down as director of the University’s School of Education, effective June 30. His formal appointment at Louisville, which also includes a Distinguished University Scholar position, begins July 1.

"Robert Felner has made significant contributions to K-12 education and to the preparation of teachers in Rhode Island. He has provided strong leadership for the University’s School of Education for the past six years, and we will miss him," said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs M. Beverly Swan. "We are grateful that he will continue to work with the National Center on Public Education and Social Policy at URI on these important issues," she added.

During his tenure, the Department of Education in the College of Human Science and Services underwent a rigorous re-accreditation review and was elevated to the status of School of Education.

Felner’s work on school reform, most notably showcased in a massive public accountability project entitled Information Works, Measuring Rhode Island Schools for Change, was singled out in 1999 as a national model with awards from the American Educational Research Association. The project was based on the results of annual state SALT surveys (School Accountability for Learning and Teaching) administered by the Center for the Rhode Island Department of Education.

"The position at Louisville is a significant one in terms of available resources, and a great opportunity to have a profound impact on school reform in a metropolitan area," Felner said. "I will miss Rhode Island, my colleagues, and the many relationships I’ve developed with educators throughout the state," added Felner.

"We have accomplished much at URI and in the state over the past six years. Many partnerships and alliances have been formed that have strengthened the system and resulted in greater clarity about student learning and achievement. I was privileged to be a part of that process, and I am committed to continuing to support the work of the Center on behalf of the R.I. Department of Education," said Felner.

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