May 6, 2019

Anita Welch named dean of the College of Education

Wayne State University Provost Keith E. Whitfield announced the appointment of Anita G. Welch as the next dean of the College of Education. Her appointment was approved by the Wayne State Board of Governors at its May 1 meeting, with a start date of July 1, 2019.

Welch brings with her to the role administrative expertise, a strong scholarly background and passion for education. “Her addition to the administrative leadership of the college and university will contribute significantly to our future success in promoting education within the city and state,” said Whitfield.

Anita G. Welch succeeds Russell Douglas Whitman, who has led Wayne State’s College of Education since 2014.

Welch comes to Wayne State from Ball State University, where she is the associate dean of the Teachers College and a professor of educational studies. She previously served as associate professor and division head of curriculum and instruction and educational technology at Emirates College for Advanced Education in Abu Dhabi.

Welch earned her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Kansas, where she was an adjunct professor of Teacher Education before holding positions as an assistant and associate professor at North Dakota State University. She also holds a master’s in secondary science education from Pittsburgh State University, a master’s in medieval studies from the University of Connecticut, and a bachelor’s in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“I am honored to be joining the College of Education at Wayne State University and look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students and alumni to position the college to that of a local, state, national and global leader in urban education, inclusion and social justice,” Welch said.

Welch’s research is focused on mid-career faculty advancement, post-secondary teaching standards and cross-cultural studies of STEM education. She has more than 22 years of experience teaching in higher education, including courses in educational research and statistics, curriculum design, and instructional strategies with emphasis on the use of educational technology in the classroom. Her work has appeared in many top-tier journals, and she has presented her research at conferences around the world. Welch has received funding from numerous sources, including the Abu Dhabi Education Council, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Currently, she is the co-editor of Mid-Career Faculty: Trends, Barriers, and Possibilities, which is due to be published this fall by Brill-Sense Publishers. A former teacher, Welch taught high school biology, chemistry, physics and pre-engineering.

Welch succeeds Russell Douglas Whitman, who has led Wayne State’s College of Education since 2014.

“Under Doug’s leadership, the college increased its research and grant funding and made great strides in programming, recruitment and outreach, launching several new initiatives to recruit and prepare teachers,” said Whitfield. “Doug has been a member of the Wayne State family for more than 45 years, and we are grateful for his ongoing commitment to the university’s growth and success.”

About the College of Education
For more than a century, the Wayne State University College of Education has prepared effective urban educators who are reflective, innovative and committed to diversity. Its Teacher Education Division boasts one of the most comprehensive, well-established programs in the country, and all four academic divisions offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in nearly 30 program areas, including learning design and technology, leadership and policy, kinesiology, sports administration, education evaluation and research, health education, educational psychology, and counseling. To learn more, visit 

About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students. For more information, visit


Tracy Walker
Phone: 313-577-0260