Robert Muller, Ed.D. has been appointed as new dean of the National College of Education (NCE). Muller will drive the overall strategic direction of NCE’s curriculum, staffing, student academic affairs, budget and fundraising. As state and federal education policies continue to evolve in the K-12 arena, Muller’s expertise in education policy and institutional management will be a tremendous asset to NCE faculty and students. Muller assumed his full-time responsibilities on August 10.
Muller most recently was the director of Strategy and Business Development at SRI Education, a division of SRI International. Prior to that, he was vice president and director at CNA Education. He is former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education. He has consulted on education policy, program development, change management and leadership. Muller has been an adjunct professor at the College of Education at the University of Maryland where he taught leadership and innovation in a newly launched executive doctorate program. His additional adjunct roles were with R.H. Smith School of Business and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.
NLU’s college of education is one of the most respected and established education schools in the country, and one of the most innovative. NCE research and advocacy helped create the kindergarten movement in America, established bachelor’s degrees for elementary school teachers, founded the PTA and laid the groundwork for the Head Start program. In addition to its School of Teacher Preparation, NCE’s School of Advanced Professional Programs advances teacher education to develop principals, superintendents and leaders in technology, curriculum and instruction, and literacy. NCE has also partnered in two multi-million dollar teacher education grants from the U.S. Department of Education, and was highlighted in a report by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education on preparing effective teachers for 21st century classrooms. Moreover, NCE-educated teachers have won 67 prestigious Illinois Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching, more than any other school of education in the state.
Dr. Muller has joined NLU to work with faculty, staff, partners and students to build on this tradition of innovation and results. With more than 25 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Dr. Muller has held senior positions that required the ability to develop plans for complex initiatives, build high-performance teams, and lead implementation. He has been engaged in education policy and practice at institutional, state and federal levels and worked on, among other topics, teacher effectiveness and professional development, assessment and accountability, on-line and blended learning, and secondary-postsecondary transition and adult/workforce education.
“Rob is well positioned to help NCE adapt to higher education policy changes,” said Alison Hilsabeck, NLU provost and former NCE dean. “He brings a wealth of experience dedicated to finding creative solutions to complex educational and organizational issues, many related to improving public education to meet the demands of the 21st-century global economy and workforce. We are thrilled that he has joined NLU, and look forward to gaining increased national recognition for NCE’s contribution to teacher education.
Dr. Muller says that one of the biggest challenges facing the education community is the need to, in an environment of tight funding and scrutiny, demonstrate impact on student achievement and measurable results for all learners.
“Effective teaching is the key to helping students succeed. I am proud to join National Louis, and looking forward to partnering with its faculty to build a shared vision of the future. NLU has a long tradition of innovation in teacher education and consistently been recognized for preparing teachers who help students achieve in the classroom,” said Dr. Muller. “As the new NCE dean, I look forward to leveraging the college’s existing programs and building on promising developments in teacher education, including experiential and technology-based learning, as we continue to make a difference in K-12 education. Without a doubt, NCE is poised to grow.”
Dr. Muller further states that NCE has strong and vibrant partnerships with educational organizations and school districts, and he looks forward to advancing the college’s recognition as a premier institution for educator preparation.
Dr. Muller earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College. He and his wife have three adult children and will reside in Chicago.