Reid Named Interim Dean of School of Social Work

  • January 25th, 2019

Vandiver to Retire After Four-Plus Years Leading School

By David Miller

Dr. Lesley Reid, interim dean of UA’s School of Social Work.

Dr. Lesley Reid, chair of The University of Alabama Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, has been named interim dean of UA’s School of Social Work.

Reid will replace Dr. Vikki Vandiver, who has retired after serving in the role since July 15, 2014. Reid will assume her new role on Feb. 1.

Reid earned both her master’s degree and PhD in sociology from Tulane University. She served on faculty at Georgia State University from 2000-2014 before joining UA.

As department chair in criminology and criminal justice at UA, Reid oversaw double-digit increases in both student enrollment and faculty size and the launch of the College of Arts and Sciences’ first online traditional undergraduate degree program in Fall 2018. The program already has 54 students enrolled.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to get to know the faculty there on a different level and know more about the work they do,” Reid said. “There are some really exciting research projects there. There’s a ton of potential, and it can only benefit the School of Social Work and the College of Arts & Sciences to further strengthen those collaborations.”

Under Reid’s leadership, criminology and criminal justice added a cyber criminology minor that has 261 students currently enrolled. The department created the Network Intrusion Lab and offers internships with the Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force on the Bryce Campus.

Dr. Vikki Vandiver has retired after four-plus years as dean of the School of Social Work.

The UA School of Social Work has experienced tremendous growth under Vandiver’s leadership since 2014, doubling its fundraising and scholarships and increasing research expenditures and funding by 47 percent. The School currently ranks third at UA in the number of universitywide research external awards.

Additionally, UA’s School of Social Work will add an online component to the bachelor of social work program and launch a new online doctoral program in Fall 2019.

Vandiver and husband Dr. Kevin Corcoran, UA social work professor, will return to the Pacific Northwest, where they’ll be near family and their home on the Central Oregon coast.

“After 30 years in higher education, both as an administrator and faculty member, I am ready for a new chapter,” Vandiver said. “My time at UA has been the pinnacle of my academic career and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as dean to the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School of Social Work.”

Reid will return to her post in the UA Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice once a full-time dean is named. Dr. Ariane Prohaska will serve in her stead as associate chair.

Reid said she’s excited for the challenge to serve as interim dean in the School of Social Work.

“I have to get up to speed on the nuances and the disciplines, and what I can do as an administrator to support that,” Reid said.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.