David Monk to step down as dean of Penn State College of Education

Annemarie Mountz
October 26, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- David H. Monk, dean of the College of Education, today (Oct. 26) announced his plans to step down as dean on June 30, 2019. The University will immediately launch a national search for the next dean of the college.

David Monk

David Monk

IMAGE: Steve Tressler/Vista Print Studios

“The College of Education has seen tremendous success under the leadership of David Monk, and enjoys an extremely strong reputation as being one of the best education colleges in the nation because of his hard work and commitment to excellence,” said Nick Jones, Penn State’s executive vice president and provost. “David has cultivated an environment where teamwork and collaboration are valued and encouraged, which has contributed to attracting top faculty, staff and students to the University.”

While Monk will step down as dean, he plans to return to his home department of Education Policy Studies within the college to pursue a phased retirement as a faculty member.

“I have been delighted to be part of the Penn State College of Education, and to see the wonderful things our faculty, staff and students have accomplished here over the past 20 years. I’m very proud of the advances we’ve made in teaching, research and service, and also in the areas of diversity and inclusion, in the college,” Monk said.

“In the last two decades, there has been a deep and growing curiosity about what we can do as a college to improve the learning experiences of a wide range of students. Our faculty members are leading cutting-edge research efforts that are transforming the entire field of education. Their groundbreaking work is relevant and applicable in educational environments in our own backyard, around the world, and everywhere in between. I am honored and proud to be associated with so many outstanding colleagues,” he said.

Monk came to Penn State as dean of the College of Education in 1999, after spending 20 years on the faculty at Cornell University. 

During Monk’s tenure as dean, the College of Education has made a concerted effort to upgrade its teaching and learning spaces to better serve its students.

Under his leadership, the college has transformed the second floor of Chambers Building, with the creation of multiple flexible classrooms that have expanded the scale and scope of the work being done in the original Krause Innovation Studio. The college now is continuing that work on the first floor of Chambers, with the Science Education wing under construction. The college also renovated the CEDAR Clinic, creating upgraded instructional space for graduate students with observation rooms and high-quality digital recording capacity.

The college’s faculty members also have raised the bar for both research and teaching under Monk’s leadership as well, including a focus on what has become known as the Learning Sciences. The Learning Sciences constitute a wide-ranging modern effort within the field of education to build bridges among various related but often distinct areas of scholarship. The work going on both in the classroom and through research directly related to the Learning Sciences is changing the understanding of how students learn, and subsequently, how teachers need to teach.

Monk also has broadened the college’s efforts to engage in interdisciplinary research, and faculty now are collaborating with colleagues throughout the University and beyond to do groundbreaking research that is relevant and applicable nationwide.

Monk received his bachelor’s degree in economics with a concentration in education from Dartmouth College in 1972 and his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Chicago in 1979. 

He has taught in a visiting capacity at the University of Rochester, the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, and National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. He also has been a third-grade teacher.

Monk is the author of “Educational Finance: An Economic Approach” (1990); “Raising Money for Education: A Guide to the Property Tax” (1997, with Brian O. Brent); and “Cost Adjustments in Education” (2001, with William J. Fowler Jr.), in addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals.

He was the inaugural co-editor of Education Finance and Policy, the Journal of the Association for Education Finance and Policy (MIT Press) and serves on the editorial board of that journal in addition to serving on the editorial boards of the Journal of Education Finance, Educational Policy, and the Journal of Research in Rural Education.

Monk consults widely on matters related to educational productivity and the organizational structuring of schools and school districts and is a past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 17, 2019