Tuesday, August 10, 2021


Liz Hollingworth

Liz Hollingworth, educational leadership professor in the University of Iowa College of Education, has been appointed the interim departmental executive officer (DEO) of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, effective immediately.

Hollingworth succeeds David Bills, who died on July 15, 2021.

UI College of Education Dean Dan Clay says he is grateful to Hollingworth for taking on this leadership role at such a challenging time.

“I greatly appreciate the input from department faculty and commitment of everyone to move forward under these unusual circumstances,” Clay says. “I am confident that Liz’s leadership can help the department move forward with imminent planning for the start of the semester and help the department through this leadership transition after David’s sudden death. This is such a stressful and difficult time for everyone – I am here to support the department’s faculty, staff, and students through this transition.”

Hollingworth says she is honored to provide leadership and continuity at a critical time.

“We were devastated by the sudden loss of David Bills, who led our department for several years,” Hollingworth says. “My goal is to continue the projects he was working on with our department so we don’t lose any momentum."

In this interim role, Hollingworth is responsible for providing leadership in managing the day-to-day operational needs of the department, including supervision of support staff, evaluating faculty, fiscal management, and allocating facilities and equipment for teaching, research and service activities.

She will also represent the department and maintain positive public relations with on-and off-campus entities. The DEO also provides leadership in facilitating long-term planning for professional involvement and development of the faculty and the department, and mentors faculty in effectively meeting their responsibilities in scholarship, teaching, and service.

Hollingworth joined the College of Education in 2005. Her research focuses on issues of leadership, evaluation, and assessment: in particular, how school reform policies affect classroom practice, evaluation, and school administration. Hollingworth has also served as the director of the Center for Evaluation and Assessment since 2015, working with a team of staff and graduate students to conduct multiple forms of program evaluation in collaboration with colleges, universities, and school systems.

In her capacity as a professor of educational leadership at the University of Iowa, she has worked with Iowa school principals and superintendents for over a decade and has built strong relationships with school district leaders, as well as with the staff at the Iowa Department of Education.

This work with Iowa school districts has included training and evaluation on issues of curriculum, school improvement, student assessment, and school leadership. For example, she was part of a team that trained teachers across the state for five years in the use of formative assessment practices in high school classrooms. The implementation of the training was then evaluated by Hollingworth and a team of doctoral students in educational leadership with classroom and professional development observations, as well as interviews with teachers and leaders.

Hollingworth attends the annual School Administrators of Iowa conference and is a member and past-president of the Iowa Council of Professors of Educational Administration. These professional groups support the professional development of in-service school leaders. Hollingworth is also the co-editor of both the first and second editions of Organization and Administration of Iowa Public and Private Schools, a text used in the preparation of Iowa school leaders. In October 2017, Dr. Hollingworth was inducted into the Iowa Academy of Education (IAE). The IAE is composed of outstanding Iowa scholars whose work has earned respect and recognition among peers for making a significant contribution to the broad field of educational studies.

Nationally, Hollingworth is the current secretary of Division A of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and has served as the chair and past-chair of the Learning and Teaching in Educational Leadership Special Interest Group of AERA, on the Executive Committee of UCEA, and was awarded the 2015 UCEA Distinguished Service Award for extraordinary commitment, excellence, leadership, productivity, generosity, and service.