Meet the new Dean of the College of Education, William Gaudelli


William Gaudelli is the new Dean of the College of Education. Gaudelli was previously the Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities, at Teachers College, at Columbia University in New York. (Shana Lichaw/B&W Staff)

William Gaudelli was named Lehigh’s new dean of the College of Education in October 2018.

Gaudelli offered a new vision for the college and the faculty’s role in its governance, saying he wants “the college to not be managed, only led.” He spoke of changes in the curriculum that he deemed “necessary” in order to “speak to the social moment and the discipline and the field of study.”

Coming from Columbia University’s Teachers College, Gaudelli hopes to gear the College of Education toward fields focused on practice and discourse. Gaudelli also wishes to expand on various research projects the previous dean started and is interested in eventually collaborating with the College of Health.

Gaudelli said he wants to see how Lehigh’s College of Education can get involved with global programs. He is focusing his attention on investing in specific programs in Peru and India.

“I am personally committed to global programming and supporting development of professionals in light of what is happening in the rest of the world,” Gaudelli said.

Patrick Farrell, the provost and vice president for academic affairs, said it is his responsibility to make the final selection in the hiring process, but that there is a process in place before the decision reaches him.

“Typically in a search like this, there is a faculty search committee and we hire an outside firm to help recruit,” Farrell said. “If they have good experience, they can find good candidates.”

Farrell expressed his excitement about Gaudelli. Farrell believes that he is coming from a place of high expectations and said that “(Gaudelli) knows what excellence looks like.”

While Gaudelli is new on campus, some faculty members have already had the opportunity to interact and get a feel for him. Professor Esther Lindström, an assistant professor in the special education program, was hired in the previous academic year.

Her initial impression of Gaudelli was positive. She said that she sensed an energy and enthusiasm that she thought would be contagious throughout the college.

Gaudelli expressed gratitude regarding the welcoming atmosphere he said the community has created for him.

Though he has never been a dean of faculty before, Gaudelli said thus far, his favorite thing on campus is the people.

“The president and the provost have created a very welcoming environment for new faculty and new leaders,” Gaudelli said. “There is a genuine collegiality and respect for each other on campus.”

Under Gaudelli’s leadership, Farrell believes that the College of Education will intersect with the other colleges on campus and broaden international education programs.

“Gaudelli is a very interesting, open guy and he is very easy to talk to. He is very interested in all that is going on at Lehigh,” Farrell said.”His enthusiasm for the mission of the college is really important.”

As Gaudelli’s as the dean, Lindström hopes to interact more with other colleges and to train teachers to tie their work to research.

“I am just excited,” Lindström said. “All last year I was looking forward to this because of the Path to Prominence and all the changes happening on campus in general. I am excited to see the new dean and I think we are in a good position.”

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