Published: June 4, 2015

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell L. Moore today announced that Lorrie Shepard, dean of the School of Education, will retire effective May 31, 2016, and that a national search has been launched to find her replacement.

Shepard plans to remain at the university as a distinguished professor of research and evaluation methodology.

Shepard has served CU for 41 years, first as a faculty member and then as chair of the Research and Evaluation Methodology Ph.D. program and director of graduate studies in the School of Education. She has been in her current leadership role since 2001. CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, who led the School of Education as dean earlier in his CU career, worked alongside Shepard for many years.

“Dean Shepard has made enormous contributions to the University of Colorado and the education preparation community in Colorado and nationwide with her leadership, vision and commitment,” DiStefano said. “I have been proud to call her my friend and colleague for the last 41 years, and we are thrilled that she will remain on the CU-Boulder faculty sharing her knowledge and passion for quality education for all.”

Shepard is credited with transforming the School of Education into a nationally recognized leader in education research with the school ranking at the 95th percentile of scholarly productivity by faculty among colleges and schools of education nationwide. 

As a researcher, Shepard is known for her research on psychometrics and the use and misuse of tests in educational settings. Shepard’s technical work has advanced validity theory, standard setting and statistical models for detecting test bias. Her other areas of expertise include formative assessment, classroom instruction and early childhood education/school readiness.

“Dean Shepard has led the School of Education to such a level of prominence with her clear and single-minded focus on advancing educational opportunities for all students and addressing inequality in our society,” Moore said. “We look forward to building upon her great work.”

With the recent launch of the CU Engage center, the School of Education has become a campus leader in community-based learning and research, stemming from the school’s model of scholarship that integrates research, teaching and outreach.

Shepard has served as president of the National Academy of Education, the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education. She has received Distinguished Career Awards from the American Educational Research Association, the National Council on Measurement in Education and the CU-Boulder Alumni Association.

Among many honors and distinguished lectures, Shepard received the 2005 Henry Chauncey Award for Distinguished Service to Assessment and Education Science from the Educational Testing Service. She also received the 2006 David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievements in Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Shepard earned a doctorate in research and evaluation methodology and a master’s degree in counseling from CU-Boulder as well as a bachelor’s degree in history from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Moore also announced the formation of a search committee chaired by John Stevenson, dean of the Graduate School, to lead a national search for Shepard’s successor.

In addition to Stevenson, faculty search committee members include Derek Briggs, professor and program chair of Research and Evaluation Methodology; Elizabeth Dutro, associate professor of literacy studies; Sue Hopewell, assistant professor of educational equity and cultural diversity; Susan Kent, professor of history; Michele Moses, associate dean for graduate studies and professor of educational foundations, policy and practice; Valerie Otero, professor of science education; and Bill Penuel, professor of educational psychology and learning sciences.

Additional members include Adriana Alvarez, doctoral candidate and ambassador for the Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity program; Bill Barclay, School of Education board member; Sara McDonald, director of operations for the School of Education; Pat Moore, support staff; and Margot Neufeld, assistant dean for Advancement.

Questions and comments may be directed to John Stevenson, chair of the search committee, at or 303-492-2890.

Julie Poppen, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-4007

Lorrie Shepard.