Dean of the College of Education and Human Services

Dear Colleagues:

Provost Sue Ott Rowlands and I are pleased to inform you that we have hired Dr. Cynthia Reed as our new Dean of Education and Human Services. Dr. Reed is presently the Director of the Truman Pierce Institute and the Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor of Educational Leadership at Auburn University.  She will start on July 15.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Carol Ryan for her interim leadership of Education and Human Services over the past year.  

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Reed. 

Additional details about Dr. Reed are included in the press release below. 



Geoffrey S. Mearns
Northern Kentucky University


News from NKU…


Cynthia J. Reed Named NKU Dean of Education and Human Service

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Geoffrey S. Mearns, president of Northern Kentucky University, announced today that Cynthia J. Reed has been named dean of the NKU College of Education and Human Services. Reed currently serves as Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor of Educational Leadership and Truman Pierce Institute Director at Auburn University. She will begin at NKU on July 15.

“Cynthia will be a welcome addition to our leadership team,” said Sue Ott Rowlands, NKU provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “The breadth and depth of her experience across a broad spectrum of important educational topics make her the ideal person to lead our College of Education and Human Services through the implementation of our new strategic plan.”

As dean of education and human services, Reed will report to Ott Rowlands and lead a college of three departments – teacher education; kinesiology and health; and counseling, social work, and leadership. The college enrolls approximately 1,380 undergraduate majors and 600 graduate students taught by 120 full-time and part-time faculty members. The college has an annual operating budget of $7.6 million and receives more externally funded grants and contracts than any other NKU college.

“I am thrilled to be the new dean of the College of Education and Human Services,” Reed said. “This college will play an important role in the future of the university and the region it serves. NKU is a very special place and I am excited to be joining the team at this important point in the university's transformation.”

Mearns said Reed’s extensive expertise in improving the success of students both in college and before will help the university implement its new five-year strategic plan. “More than ever, our focus is on student success,” he said. “Cynthia brings years of practical and theoretical experience that will guide our work.”

Reed has served as director of the Auburn College of Education’s Truman Pierce Institute since 2002. The institute provides regional and state leadership related to engaged scholarship, teaching, and service focused on the improvement of teaching and leadership and the conditions within which schools and communities support effective and equitable learning opportunities. As director, Reed is responsible for budgeting, hiring and supervision of personnel, strategic planning, program development, evaluation and assessment, and partnership development.

During her tenure at Auburn, Reed has also held numerous other leadership roles including service on the promotion and tenure committee and promotion and tenure appeals committee. She served as a Presidential Administrative Fellow in 2011, working closely with the Auburn president and provost on a project to strengthen collaboration between the university and community. In addition to her teaching, Reed also supervises doctoral students. Since 2011, she has served as Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor of Educational Leadership.

She has also served as commissioner of the Alabama Select Commission on High School Completion and Drop Out Prevention; co-founder and co-chair of the Future Trends in Education Think Tank; as a member of the board of trustees of the School Leadership Council of Greater New Orleans; and as president of the University Council for Educational Administration.

Reed’s research interests include equal access to advanced coursework; building individual capacity for success; high school drop-out prevention; leadership development; bullying prevention; challenges facing principals today and tomorrow; instructional improvement; and engaging community to address educational and community issues.

Prior to her service at the Truman Pierce Institute, Reed was a Lilly Endowment Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and the founding coordinator of the Access to College Education Initiative housed at SUNY Cortland.

The Rochester, NY, native earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and her M.S. in Elementary Education with Specialization in Gifted Education from SUNY Oswego; a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Administration and Supervision form SUNY Cortland; and an Ed.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies with Specialization in Policy, Planning, and Evaluation from the University of Pittsburgh.