Christopher C. Morphew, an experienced academic leader and prominent scholar at the University of Iowa College of Education, has been appointed dean of the School of Education at the Johns Hopkins University.
Morphew, now executive associate dean for research and innovation at Iowa, will join Johns Hopkins on Aug. 1. He will lead a school of about 130 faculty members and 2,400 students, dedicated to training committed teachers and school leaders, to producing leading education scholars and to research that leads to evidence-based improvements in American pre-K-12 education.
Morphew’s appointment was approved by the executive committee of the university’s board of trustees, on the recommendation of President Ronald J. Daniels and Sunil Kumar, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.
“Dr. Morphew has the vision, focus and proven skills to lead the school’s talented faculty and staff in seizing new opportunities and tackling the complex challenges facing pre-K-12 education across this country and here in Baltimore,” Daniels said. “He is the right person to guide the continued growth and upward trajectory of our School of Education.”
Morphew called the Johns Hopkins School of Education “a young, high-performing, highly ranked unit, surrounded by one of the world’s best research universities.”
“A chance to help its faculty, staff and students carve out a unique identity is an extraordinary opportunity,” he said. “Schools of education should aspire to be the places where relevant, interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research on schools and learning take place. Just as Johns Hopkins changed medical education and medical research in the late 19th century, I’d like the School of Education to be the place where policymakers, foundations and school leaders expect to find the most relevant and useful research that can shape the field in the coming decades.”
As executive associate dean at Iowa since 2014, Morphew has overseen a rapid, record-setting expansion of the College of Education’s research. He has introduced new areas of collaboration between the college and faculty members elsewhere in the university aimed at, among other things, an interdisciplinary approach to better understanding of human development and learning. He oversees college resources such as the Education Technology Center and is responsible for community engagement and economic development initiatives.
Previously, as chair of Iowa’s Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies beginning in 2009, Morphew was responsible for three master’s and doctoral programs. He and his department increased enrollment in all three programs and redesigned the curricula in two.
Before coming to Iowa, Morphew was on the faculty at the University of Kansas and then the University of Georgia, where he coordinated the graduate program at the Institute of Higher Education.
His research focuses on higher education, including the missions of different types of colleges and universities in the United States, state higher education policy, and college and university marketing and communication.
Morphew received his Ph.D. in social sciences and educational practices from Stanford University in 1996. He holds master’s degrees from Stanford and from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
Johns Hopkins has offered teacher education since 1909, but the School of Education was established as a standalone division of the university in 2007. It awards more than 500 master’s and doctoral degrees annually. Its research and development work includes the Center for Research and Reform in Education, the Center for Social Organization of Schools and the Center for Technology in Education. The school is an integral part of Johns Hopkins interdisciplinary programs, such as the Science of Learning Institute and 21st Century Cities Initiative.
One of the school’s prominent community outreach efforts is administration of the Henderson-Hopkins K-8 public school and Weinberg Early Childhood Education Center in the new Eager Park neighborhood of East Baltimore.
The school also encompasses the Division of Public Safety Leadership, which conducts research and technical assistance projects and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in organizational leadership for future police and public safety leaders.