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Dean for the College of Education to step down

Paul Zionts, dean for the College of Education, announced he will step down from his role at the end of the calendar year. He has led the college since 2009. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

College of Education dean Paul Zionts announced Friday, Sept. 23, that he would step down from his role effective Dec. 31, 2022.

Zionts was appointed dean of the College of Education in July 2009. Previously, he served as dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn since 2005, professor and chair of educational foundations and special services at Kent State University, and professor at Central Michigan University.

Recently re-appointed for a third term as dean, Zionts started teaching 50 years ago last January.

“I still love the job and thought I would like to step down when I still do,” Zionts explains. “As we transition to an exciting new university administration, it would be an ideal time for the College of Education to also transition to new leadership.”

During his deanship, Zionts worked to increase DePaul’s presence in Chicago communities actualizing our Vincentian Mission. This includes partnering for nine years with AUSL to provide quality teachers to many of the most underserved and challenged schools in Chicago public school system; creating opportunities for DePaul education and counseling students to work with Chicago students (and their parents) in the Education and Counseling Center; helping to facilitate a collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves to educate current and future teachers on civic engagement strategies;​ and creating the Office of Innovative and Professional Learning, furthering our commitment to the underserved in Chicago, the Archdiocese as well as a number of agencies that align with our mission.

In addition, COE’s global presence was strengthened with COE training teachers in China and Italy; supporting the growth of our International Baccalaureate program resulting in the world’s only doctoral program; and supporting the creation of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education.

“With a steady hand, Paul Zionts prepared teachers, counselors and administrators to help students thrive in a changing world,” says Provost Salma Ghanem. “His work at COE includes deepening our relationships with CPS and the Archdiocese, guiding our doctoral and counseling programs to leadership positions in the region and driving a significant increase in endowed scholarships for student support. I am grateful for his leadership as the COE withstood the pandemic with increased communication and supports for faculty, staff and students.”

The author, co-author or editor of five books and more than 25 articles and chapters, Zionts is a professor of special education whose research interests include educating children and youth with emotional and behavioral disorders, cognitive behavioral interventions and classroom management.

“I love teaching and look forward to working with preservice and in-service students and faculty,” Zionts says.

The university will share more information about the search for the college's next dean when it is available.