Portrait of Dr. Randy Penfield

Dr. Randy Penfield

After serving as interim dean for nearly a year, Dr. Randy Penfield will take on the top position in UNCG’s School of Education permanently beginning June 1.

“Things are about to get really exciting,” Penfield said, adding that once he becomes dean he can “hit the go button” on a number of exciting initiatives for the School of Education.

He plans to focus on finding creative ways for the School of Education to thrive, while increasing student scholarships and faculty resources. Penfield also wants to increase the School of Education’s visibility across the state and nation.

“I think we’re positioned to be a national model that resides at the intersection where research and innovation meet teaching and practice,” he said. “We have world-class faculty here. There’s no shortage of innovation going on.”

Penfield, a UNCG School of Education faculty member since 2012, was selected to fill the dean’s position following a national search. He will be the School of Education’s 9th dean. Penfield succeeds Dr. Karen K. Wixson, who led the School of Education from 2011 to 2015.

Before assuming the role of interim dean, he served as chair of the Department of Educational Research Methodology. Penfield is a leading expert in the field of educational assessment, focusing on issues of equality and fairness in standardized testing.

During his time at the university, Penfield has developed and established programs focused on hands-on, community-based learning for students, such as the Office of Assessment, Evaluation and Research Services (OAERS) and the Nonprofit Evaluation Support Program (NESP). These programs allow students to practice what they’re learning while helping local businesses and nonprofits as well.

Penfield received his doctorate from the University of Toronto with a specialization in educational measurement and assessment. He began his career as an educational statistician before transitioning to academia. Penfield previously served on the faculty of the University of Florida’s College of Education from 2000 to 2004 and the University of Miami from 2004 to 2012.


Story by Jeanie McDowell, University Relations