Louis Castenell Jr., dean of the College of Education for eight years, has announced that he will leave that post Dec. 31, but will remain in the college as a faculty member.
Castenell said the college is in a strong position, and after 25 years as a dean at UGA and other universities he wants to devote the rest of his career to research, teaching and efforts to encourage youths from underserved populations to attend college.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” said Castenell, who came to UGA in August 1999 from the University of Cincinnati, where he was also dean of the education college.
“I am appreciative of the opportunity given me by the university, and I especially appreciate the generous support of faculty, staff and students in the college. Together we have launched this college into the 21st century.”
He said he will resume his research on adolescent achievement motivation and familiarize himself with current electronic teaching technology in preparation for his return to the classroom.
Castenell, the longest-serving of UGA’s 16 deans, also served from 2001-2002 as the founding interim associate provost for UGA’s Office of Institutional Diversity. He said he will continue working to increase diversity by taking on a special assignment to develop an outreach program for middle and high school students in underserved populations in Georgia.
“It has been a privilege to serve as the first African-American dean of a college at UGA, and I look forward to lending my efforts across the state to improve diversity on campus,” he said.
“Under Dean Castenell’s leadership, the College of Education has made remarkable progress in strengthening its academic quality, enlarging its base of funding support and helping enhance education at all levels in Georgia,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams.
“I appreciate his service and look forward to his continuing contributions to the college and the university.”
Castenell said one of his top priorities after leaving the dean’s post will be creating a program to be known as “UGA Bound,” in which he will work with principals, teachers and counselors in Georgia’s middle and high schools to help students qualify to attend UGA.
He said the program, which will involve curriculum improvements and more attention to advanced placement courses, will be directed heavily at African Americans and students from other minority populations.
“One of my first jobs was as a recruiter for underserved populations,” he said. “Now that I have more knowledge, experience and influence, I want to complete that circle by returning to what has always been a powerful motivator for me—helping underprivileged youths attend college.”