January 19, 2010

Education Dean Fessler to retire; Hardiman named to interim post

After postponing, at the request of President Daniels, the planned retirement that he had announced in September 2008, Dean Ralph Fessler of the School of Education will leave his post this month.

In a letter sent last week to faculty, staff and students, Daniels said he had asked Fessler to remain as dean in order to complete strategic planning for the school’s future direction and to work with the committee that would appoint his successor, and now that those projects were completed or well under way, Fessler had decided it was time for his retirement to take effect. Although Fessler intends to devote his time to professional and personal projects he had put on hold, he will remain available to the school and his successor, when named, Daniels said.

Mariale Hardiman will serve as interim dean, beginning Feb. 1, during the remainder of the search for a permanent dean.

Hardiman joined the school in 2006 as assistant dean for urban school partnerships and chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. She previously had served the Baltimore City Public Schools for more than 30 years, most recently as principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School.

She is a nationally known presenter on school leadership issues and has published books and articles on employing neuroscience research to improve teaching and on the role of arts in education.

Hardiman is a Johns Hopkins alumna, having earned her doctorate in education from the university in 2004.

To read about Fessler’s career at Johns Hopkins, go here, the Gazette story announcing his retirement.