W. Charles Read

Dean, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. in Linguistics and Education, Harvard University
Nominee:  Robert E. Slavin

Joan Countryman retired in June 2005 after twelve years as Head of Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, a Quaker school for girls in grades kindergarten through twelve with co-educational infant and pre-school programs. Previously, she served as Assistant Head for Academic Planning and Director of Studies at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia where she taught mathematics from 1970 to 1993. She has also lectured at the University of Pennsylvania and served as a consultant to the School District of Philadelphia. Her publications include Writing to Learn Mathematics (1992), “Is Gender an Issue in Math?” in Math and Science for Girls (1993), and Black Images in American Literature(1977).

When Charles Read was named the seventh dean of the UW-Madison School of Education in 1995, he began a new stage in a career devoted to education. A former high school English teacher, Read earned a master of arts in teaching and a Ph.D. in linguistics and education from Harvard University.

Read joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1970 as a professor of English and linguistics. He is the author of three books and numerous articles, and his research on linguistics and literacy has been widely cited and published. At UW-Madison, he has served as chair of the linguistics department and as associate dean and interim dean of the Graduate School.

As Dean of the School of Education, Read oversees the third largest college on campus. The school is composed of eight departments and enrolls nearly 2,500 undergraduate students each year. About half of the undergraduates are pursuing teacher preparation programs; the rest are in art, dance, rehabilitation psychology, and exercise science.

The School of Education also enrolls more than 1,200 graduate students each year. Graduate students play key roles in many of the innovative research projects conducted at the school. Deans across the country rank six of the school’s graduate programs among the top three in their fields nationally (U.S. News).

During Read’s tenure as Dean, the School of Education has revised all of its teacher education programs, basing certification on performance and increasing field experiences; created a model program of research-doctoral preparation, with a grant from the Spencer Foundation; increased its gift support and its endowment substantially; expanded its influential research activity, with significantly increased Federal support; launched its first distance-education masters program; established the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Post-secondary Education; improved its relations with the state and the community; attracted a more diverse array of faculty and graduate students; and maintained its position as one of the finest schools of education in the country.

Nomination Portfolio