UW News

February 17, 2006

Edwina Uehara named dean of UW School of Social Work

Edwina Uehara, who has spent her entire teaching career at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, is the school’s new dean. The appointment, announced by Provost Phyllis Wise, is effective April 1, subject to approval by the Board of Regents at their March meeting.

Uehara joined the university faculty as an assistant professor in 1990 and previously served as the acting dean of the school in 2001.

“Eddie Uehara possesses a remarkable combination of leadership, teaching and research skills and I am confident that she will continue the tradition of excellence that has made the School of Social Work one of the best in the nation,” said Wise.

UW President Mark A. Emmert said, “It is gratifying when you conduct a national search for leadership and the best candidate ends up being one of your own. It is a measure of how good our School of Social Work is to have someone of Eddie Uehara’s capabilities on our faculty. She’ll make a terrific dean.”

The school tied for third place among the nation’s schools of social work when last ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2004.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of advancing our school’s social justice mission through even higher levels of excellence in scholarship, teaching and strategic partnerships with diverse communities and key public and community agencies,” said Uehara.

“In the coming years we will provide leadership in developing and testing policies and models of culturally competent, evidence-based services and will work with public agencies and community partners to extend those policies and services to the state’s most vulnerable populations. We intend to achieve these goals by recruiting the best, brightest and most diverse students, faculty and staff. Our aim is the transformation of social work knowledge and practice and the advancement of the profession.”

Uehara earned her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University in 1973, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in 1977 and her doctorate from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration in 1987. Prior to coming to the UW, she completed a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral fellowship in mental health services research at the University of Chicago.

The UW’s School of Social Work educates nearly 500 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students and attracts nearly $30 million in research funding annually.

Teaching has always been a hallmark of Uehara’s career at the UW. She was named winner of the School of Social Work’s Student’s Choice Teaching Award for Classroom Excellence in 1994. She was a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1996 and is a founding member of the UW’s teaching academy.

Uehara also has pursued an active research agenda looking at the effects of violence both in urban environments and on immigrants who experienced violence in Southeast Asia. In addition, she is interested in social networks, social support systems and the financing and organization of health services, particularly as they effect economically disadvantage ethnic minority populations.

Her annual salary will be $177,828. She replaces Dorothy Van Soest, who resigned last year but remains on the school’s faculty.