Leadership scholar to direct Iowa State University School of Education

Faculty News

AMES, Iowa — A former Iowa State University faculty member who studies effective leadership will return to Ames to lead the Iowa State University School of Education. Donald Hackmann, a professor of educational leadership at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign has been named director of the School of Education and the inaugural Frances S. and Arthur L. Wallace Professor in the College of Human Sciences. The appointment is effective July 1, 2019. 

“Dr. Hackmann’s deep understanding of educational issues positions him well for the director role,” said Laura Dunn Jolly, dean and Dean’s Chair of the College of Human Sciences. “School administrators, teachers, and school board members across the U.S. look to his research-based findings to help them establish equitable learning environments. He will provide excellent leadership for the School of Education.”

Hackmann holds a doctorate and an educational specialist degree in educational administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He also has a master’s degree in secondary school administration and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and mathematics education from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO.

Since joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004, he has served as a tenured faculty member and led as interim department head of educational organization and leadership from 2007-2009. He was promoted to professor in 2013. Hackmann has been recognized consistently on the university’s list of teachers ranked as “excellent” and courses rated as “outstanding” by their students.

At Iowa State University, Hackmann began as an assistant professor of educational administration in 1998. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2001 and served on the faculty until July 2004.

Earlier in his career, he was a faculty member at Illinois State University and Eastern Michigan University.  He also taught mathematics and was a principal at several public schools in Missouri.

Hackmann said he is eager to return to Iowa State, reconnect with Iowans, and advance education.

“The School of Education, with its commitment to social justice, is uniquely positioned within the state of Iowa to prepare outstanding educators and researchers, advocate for equitable learning opportunities, and build supportive relationships and research partnerships across the P-20 continuum,” Hackmann said. “I look forward to working with School of Education students, faculty, staff, and other colleagues as we strive to make a difference through our teaching, research, and outreach.”

Hackmann has served in leadership roles for several professional associations, including the American Educational Research Association and the University Council for Educational Administration.

He received the Article of the Year award from the Journal of Career and Technical Education in 2017. He was named the Reviewer of the Year by the Journal of Research on Educational Leadership Education in 2006 and again in 2013. In 2012, he received a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the American Educational Research Association.

“Dr. Hackmann brings a tremendous breadth of experience across the P-20 spectrum as a teacher, school leader, faculty member, and department head,” said Anne Foegen, a professor and director of graduate education in the School of Education.

Foegen shared co-leadership of the search committee for the director position with Carl Weems, professor and chair of human development and family studies.

“Human development and family studies and the school share the early childhood education program — and we work closely together on the family and consumer sciences education major,” Weems said. “I am impressed with Dr. Hackmann’s knowledge of the education landscape in Iowa and the nation but also his incredibly collaborative and inclusive nature.”

Hackmann will succeed Marlene Strathe, who has directed the School of Education since January 2015.

“We are grateful for Dr. Strathe’s superb guidance,” Jolly said. “The School of Education is making great strides to meet the big challenges of the 21st century.”

One of five academic units in the College of Human Sciences, the School of Education is committed to engaging in rigorous and socially meaningful research, preparing leaders and practitioners across the P-20 continuum that promote rich and equitable learning opportunities for all students, and supporting public education as a cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant, and just society. 

New endowed professorship supports high-priority efforts

The Frances S. and Arthur L. Wallace Professor in the College of Human Sciences is named at the dean’s discretion to support high-priority activities. The professorship is made possible by an endowment from the late Frances and Arthur Wallace who both graduated from Iowa State University in 1941.

Key contacts

Laura Jolly, dean and Dean’s Chair, College of Human Sciences, ljolly@iastate.edu, 515-294-5381.

Anne Foegen, professor and director of graduate education, School of Education, afoegen@iastate.edu, 515-294-8373.

Cathy Curtis, communications director, College of Human Sciences, ccurtis@iastate.edu, 515-294-8175.