People, Profiles

Graduate School of Education Dean Judith Warren Little to retire

Judith Warren Little will retire in June 2015 after serving for 28 years on the UC Berkeley faculty and five years as the first permanent woman dean in the history of the Graduate School of Education, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele announced today.

Judith Warren Little

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele made the following announcement in a message to the Berkeley community today:

Dear Campus Community,

I am writing to share the news that Judith Warren Little will retire in June 2015 after serving for 28 years on the Berkeley faculty and five years as the first permanent woman dean in the history of the Graduate School of Education (GSE) since its beginnings as the Department of Pedagogy in the College of Letters and Science in 1892, later to be designated as the School of Education in 1913.

Judith Warren Little

Judith Warren Little

I am deeply grateful to Judith Warren Little for her numerous accomplishments as dean of the Graduate School of Education. Under Judith’s leadership, the GSE has enhanced its philanthropic fundraising success, with over $15 million in contributions dedicated to GSE priorities since 2010.  A $1 million endowment, matched dollar-for dollar by the Hewlett Foundation, established a faculty chair in Urban Teaching and Teacher Education. Endowed graduate fellowships have more than doubled.

Private philanthropy has also supported innovations in teacher preparation and the preparation of educational leaders, including the launch of experiments in online and technology-enhanced teaching and learning with more than $600,000 in seed funding, as well as new international research collaborations and exchanges of students and faculty with institutions in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

During Judith’s deanship, the GSE has strengthened its undergraduate minor, attracting several hundred students to its courses each year, extended its ties with other units on campus (for example, through its support of the new D-Lab) and promoted innovations in its professional education programs. The GSE has taken a lead role in the recent systemwide adoption of a comprehensive data system that will for the first time enable cross-campus research on questions of significance regarding the preparation of teachers, leaders, and other education specialists. Additionally, a master’s degree concentration in Education for the Health Professions in partnership with UCSF has been established. This program attracts physicians and other health professionals who wish to specialize in health professions education.

Dean Little and her team entered into planning for a new building that will enable GSE faculty
and students to forge new synergies with the Department of Psychology and the School of Public Health.
In the interim, the GSE has completed safety and quality-of-life improvements to Tolman Hall.

Beyond Berkeley, Judith has served on the board of directors of the National Academy of Education, as
chair of the board of the National Writing Project, as a member of a National Research Council
consensus committee in the area of STEM education, and as chair of the California statewide oversight
committee for the California Subject Matter Projects.

It has been a tremendous pleasure to get to know and work with Judith Warren Little. A plan for a national search for Judith’s successor is underway and will be launched in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please join me in thanking her for her extraordinary service to our university and in wishing her a wonderful retirement in the years ahead.


Claude Steele
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost