Cal Lutheran names new education dean

Michael R. Hillis is associate dean of PLU School of Ed

Michael R. Hillis is currently the associate dean and director of education programs for the School of Education & Kinesiology at PLU in Washington.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Feb. 25, 2015) An associate dean at Pacific Lutheran University will become the new dean of the Graduate School of Education at California Lutheran University in June.

Michael R. Hillis is currently the associate dean and director of education programs for the School of Education & Kinesiology at PLU in Washington. He has served as an administrator at the university since 2006, including stints as co-interim dean and co-acting dean.

As a Fulbright Scholar in Norway in 2000-2001, Hillis conducted teacher workshops on American studies and lectured to students. He has served on the PLU faculty since 1997 and previously taught at East Tennessee State University and the University of Washington. He also has taught and served as the site director for PLU’s semester abroad program in Trinidad and Tobago.

Hillis has extensively researched, written and lectured on multicultural education. He recently worked with another professor, a public high school teacher and 22 high school students to investigate the effects of an educational reform model on students’ academic motivation. He is the president of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education and is working on a grant with a Washington school district to recruit underrepresented students to become teachers.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in school counseling from Western Washington University. He holds a doctorate in educational psychology with specializations in multicultural education, cognition and development from the University of Washington.

Hillis’ daughter graduated from Cal Lutheran in 2011.

Robert Fraisse has served as interim dean of Cal Lutheran’s Graduate School of Education since the former dean, George J. Petersen, left to become the founding dean of the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University in July.

Cal Lutheran’s Graduate School of Education has helped prepare more than 8,000 teachers, counselors, administrators, principals and superintendents for careers in K-12 and university systems. It offers master’s degree, doctoral and credential programs at its main campus in Thousand Oaks as well as in Oxnard, Santa Maria, Woodland Hills and online. The school is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the credential programs have been approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

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