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From CEO to COE: Former Oregon education chief now a UO professor of practice

Nancy Golden

Nancy Golden, former chief education officer for the State of Oregon, has joined the University of Oregon College of Education (COE) as its first professor of practice for the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership. Her appointment began January 1, 2016.

Professors of practice typically receive non-tenure-track appointments as a result of their experience and expertise in professional areas that enhance or complement academic programs. Such is the case with Golden, whose relationships and insights should provide vital inroads to the schools and districts upon which the department’s research agenda depends. Her vast experience also will help inform the research itself, potentially expediting the process faculty undertake to arrive at the most relevant and pressing questions of practice, and helping to bridge the translation of research finding into professional practice.

Golden also will work with current faculty on a new model of professional development, particularly (but not exclusively) in Portland, and will expand alumni involvement and input. EMPL Department Head Charles Martinez said this latter charge can help the department respond to the needs of their market while helping practitioners understand why the COE’s research is relevant to them.

“Giving alumni the opportunity to put their passion, their love for the college, into action is something Nancy will be perfect at,” he said. “She bumps into school administrators all the time who say, ‘How can I be more involved with the UO?’ She’s going to help us answer that question, and our programs will be better for it. I think it says a lot about the quality of the department and the college that someone like her wants to join us.”

Golden will contribute to teaching in the department’s programs, but initially her work with students will be as a mentor. She is personally very interested in equity, so she also will be affiliated with the college’s Center for Equity Promotion.

Oregon State Senator Arnie Roblan said, “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Nancy for almost 20 years, during which time my respect and admiration for her has only deepened. The UO should count itself very fortunate to have someone of her credibility, experience, and passion among its faculty as Oregon works to improve educational opportunities for students and administrators alike.”

Golden is both an alumna of the COE (MS ’74, PhD ’87) and former faculty member, having been in charge of the initial administrator licensure program at the UO from 1997-2003. She rose to prominence in the Oregon education community as superintendent of Springfield Public Schools from 2003-13, and then as chief education officer for the Oregon Education Investment Board from 2013-15.

“I am excited to return to the University of Oregon and continue working to ensure that all students receive a quality education,” Golden said. “After a successful and full career, I am honored to return to the place where I graduated with two degrees, began my career in education, and developed a deep commitment to educational equity. UO is a world-class institution, filled with nationally renowned researchers and top-notch programs, and I look forward to using this opportunity to give back to an organization that has contributed so greatly to my 43 years as an educational leader.”