The University of Utah has appointed Martell Teasley as the next dean of the College of Social Work.
Teasley, who will begin his term on July 1, 2017, comes to the U from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he served as chair of the Department of Social Work in the College of Public Policy for the past five years. His impressive array of experience also includes the development of a disaster management certificate program at Florida State University’s College of Social Work, employment as a drug and alcohol counselor, time as a licensed practical nurse and a decade of service with the U.S. Army.
“He is well-known as an innovative and talented leader in his field,” said Ruth V. Watkins, senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “He is widely admired for his ability to advance critical issues on campus and in the field, particularly issues that pertain to equity and social justice in educational settings, and to effectively connect university research and education with community concerns.”
Teasley hopes students will find him accessible, attentive to their needs and genuinely invested in their success. He emphasizes the importance of classroom instruction and program fidelity, noting, “students should know that the administration, faculty and staff will work hard to make sure that our students are among the best educated in the country.”
During his tenure, Teasley said the College of Social Work will continue to advance its commitment to community outreach, advocacy and helping local communities address social service needs.
Teasley earned his doctorate in social work from Howard University, where his scholarship focused on African-American adolescent development. He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fayetteville State University and Virginia Commonwealth University, respectively. His research primarily focuses on social work in school settings, particularly the vital role that social work can play in advancing educational equity.
Teasley’s leadership experience will also benefit other institutions around the country; in February of 2017, he was elected to serve a three-year term as president of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work. He hopes this position will help social work scholars around the nation develop a better understanding of the high level of research productivity and educational programming happening at the U.
“Our faculty will continue to gain greater national and international prominence for their accomplishments,” Teasley said, “and we will demonstrate why we at the U are leaders in social work education, research and services to the community.”