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New dean named to campus School of Social Welfare

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JUNE 22, 2012

Domestic violence expert and UC Berkeley alumnus Jeffrey Edleson will return to campus as the dean of the School of Social Welfare in August.

Edleson has been on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 29 years, serving as a professor and as director of research for the university’s School of Social Work.

“I’m excited to come back and work with a group of colleagues that are world-famous for their work in social policy and practice,” Edleson said. “I’m excited to try and develop the next generation of scholars and teachers.”

The appointment concludes a yearlong national search. Sam Davis, an emeritus professor of architecture at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, has served as interim dean for the past academic year.

Edleson was recently appointed to the National Institute of Justice’s Scientific Review Panel on Family Violence and Violence Against Women as well as appointed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women.

“Jeff has been an excellent scholar as well as an excellent citizen for our School and for the University of Minnesota,” said Director of the University of Minnesota School of Social Work James Reinardy in a statement to faculty, staff and students. “I, in particular, will miss his counsel and the leadership he has provided most recently as our director of research.”

As a student, Edleson received his bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley and then earned his master’s and doctorate in social work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also the author of over 120 articles and 12 books, including the “Sourcebook on Violence Against Women” and the “Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Violence.”

Edleson will be leading a school that is nationally and internationally ranked among the top schools for social work graduate programs.

“What we’ve found in Jeffrey is a rare combination of exceptional scholarship, outstanding leadership and unshakable commitment to making a difference in the lives of women, children and families,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer in a June 21 press release. “We’re thrilled he’s agreed to return to Berkeley to lead the School of Social Welfare.”

As dean of the school, Edleson hopes to continue improving the institution and is eager to begin collaborating with Berkeley community.

“I’m most excited to work with a great group of students, faculty, staff and community on the big issues that face our society, that are really central to the quality of people’s lives,” Edleson said. “I think that’s what social welfare is about.”

Contact Rebecca Cohen at 


JUNE 24, 2012

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