Ralph E. Reynolds will lead the School of Education as its new director effective July 1.
Ralph E. Reynolds will lead the School of Education as its new director effective July 1.

Reynolds named Iowa State University SOE director

Ralph E. Reynolds will become the inaugural director of the School of Education in Iowa State University's College of Human Sciences on July 1.

Reynolds has served as professor and chair in the department of educational psychology at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) since 2000, has served as a higher education administrator for more than 20 years, and has led two university education programs to national prominence.

"The search committee and our faculty are impressed with what Dr. Reynolds has accomplished in the field of education,"  said Pamela White, dean of the College of Human Sciences. "We are excited to have him lead the School of Education. Dr. Reynolds has a demonstrated record of research and scholarly achievement, and commitment to diversity. In addition, his partnership building has led to the creation of several reading and learning centers, which have given teachers access to the most up-to-date research they can use in the classroom." 

While at the University of Utah, Reynolds helped transform a struggling teacher education program into one ranked nationally by U.S. News and World Report, which listed it as one of the top 25 departments of curriculum and instruction in 1998.

Reynolds' work at UNLV placed the educational psychology department in the national spotlight when U.S. News and World Report ranked it among the nation's top 20 programs in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Contemporary Educational Psychology, an international education journal, ranked the department third nationally/internationally, behind only the University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University.

He is a fellow of the American Education Research Association and the American Psychological Association. He is also a fellow of the UNLV Lincy Institute, which researches health, education, and social sciences.

Reynolds received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, a master's in educational psychology from Arizona State University, and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Illinois.

"We are truly fortunate to have Dr. Reynolds join our team of highly-qualified and talented educators,"  said Carla Peterson, associate dean of the College of Human Sciences and chair of the search committee. "His credentials and experience are superb and he will certainly take the School of Education to a higher level. Dr. Reynolds is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar, and has extensive experience in facilitating faculty excellence and diversity. He is committed to improving the lives of others." 

The Iowa Board of Regents granted final approval on Dec. 8, 2011 to establish a School of Education at Iowa State University. The school will draw together a wide range of well-established education programs under a common administration effective July 1. The school will serve students, alumni, faculty, and staff who focus on Pre-K-20 teaching, learning, and educational leadership – and the preparation of professionals for a wide range of educational settings.

Iowa State alumni work as licensed educators in 98 percent of Iowa's 359 school districts. Nearly one in eight Iowa teachers graduates from Iowa State University. As principals or superintendents, alumni lead schools in 47 percent of Iowa districts. Among alumni of Iowa State's programs are 205 community college leaders, including 15 presidents, 78 vice presidents or provosts, 74 deans, and 45 program directors.

The teacher education program attracts high-achieving students whose mean grade point average upon admission was 3.26 in the 2010-11 academic year. The mean grade point average for all Iowa State students was 2.87.

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    Ralph Reynolds, who has led two university education programs to national prominence, will direct the Iowa State University School of Education, effective July 1.


  • “Dr. Reynolds has a demonstrated record of research and scholarly achievement, and commitment to diversity. In addition, his partnership building has led to the creation of several reading and learning centers, which have given teachers access to the most up-to-date research they can use in the classroom.”

    Pamela White