University Provost Shirley Willihnganz made the announcement April 2 to the campus community.
“Ann is innovative, results-oriented and has an outstanding national reputation,” said Willihnganz. “She has the heart of a teacher, the mind of a strategist, and she knows how to build an effective team.”
Larson’s roles in the CEHD have included vice dean, associate dean, acting department chair for the Department of Teaching and Learning, professor and student teacher supervisor. She is an expert in teacher preparation and accountability and deeply experienced in forging community partnerships to improve K-12 education, professional development and adult learning.
Larson is a much sought-after speaker and has given presentations on topics such as professional development, critical thinking, technology in teaching and learning, teacher recruitment, and assessment and accountability.
While at UofL, she has been a champion for using data-based models for continuous program improvement, cross department collaboration, diversity and the advancement of women.
“I’m truly excited to serve as the college’s next dean,” Larson said. “Our college is unique because of its breadth of programs and its long history and outstanding reputation with community engagement and partnerships. In addition to educator preparation, we have top notch and vibrant programs in health, sports and exercise physiology sciences, counseling and college student personnel services, educational leadership, higher education, human resources and organizational leadership and learning, a planetarium, an Early Learning Campus, and much more.”
Larson began her career as a middle and high school teacher. She later moved into professorial and administrative roles and began focusing her research in the areas of community-school district partnerships and teacher training and accountability. She earned a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1998.
Larson earned an undergraduate degree from Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas; pursued advanced studies at Kansas University and Kansas State University; and earned a graduate degree from Wichita State University.
When announcing Larson’s appointment, Willihnganz also thanked Interim Dean Blake Haselton for leading the school for the past six years.
“He has done a remarkable job and I am truly grateful for his leadership,” Willihnganz said. “We wish him well in his retirement as the school’s dean.”