Nicely Lecture to be presented by educational leadership scholar, Duke

February 10, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's College of Education will welcome Daniel Duke as guest speaker for the Nicely Lecture in Educational Leadership. His lecture titled “Learning about Leadership for Low-performing Schools: A Tale of Inquiry in Four Acts” will be held at 4:45 p.m. April 20, in 112 Kern Building on the Penn State University Park campus.

After teaching high school social studies and serving as a secondary school administrator, Duke embarked on a career in higher education. For over three decades he has taught courses on educational leadership, organizational change, and school reform as well as conducting research on various aspects of public schools.

After serving on the faculties of Lewis and Clark College and Stanford University, he came to the University of Virginia as chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and professor of education. Duke founded and directed the Thomas Jefferson Center for Educational Design and helped establish the Darden-Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE), a unique enterprise involving the Curry School of Education and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He serves as research director for the PLE.

A prolific writer, Duke has authored or co-authored 27 books and several hundred scholarly articles, monographs, chapters, and reports. His most recent books include: "The challenges of educational change" (2004), "Education empire: The evolution of an excellent suburban school system" (2005), "Teachers' guide to school turnarounds" (2007) and "The little school system that could: Transforming a city school district" (2008).

A highly regarded consultant, Duke has worked with over 150 school systems, state agencies, foundations, and governments across the United States and abroad. He has served as president of the University Council for Educational Administration and was chosen as Professor of the Year at the Curry School of Education. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and his doctor of education degree from the State University of New York-Albany.

The Nicely Lecture is made possible through the Robert F. Nicely, Jr. and Donna C. Nicely Distinguished Scholar in Educational Leadership endowment, established by Robert and Donna Nicely. This endowment enables the educational leadership program to bring prominent educational scholars and speakers to University Park to give speeches, meet with faculty, and lead seminars for students.

Bob Nicely is an associate dean emeritus and professor emeritus in the College of Education, He served on the Dean's Development Council for the Investing in People initiative from 2003 to 2007, and he is a past member of the College of Education Alumni Society Board. Donna Nicely also retired from the College of Education, where she was the contracts and proposals specialist.

For more information about the Nicely Lecture, contact Jim Nolan, professor of education, at

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Last Updated January 09, 2015