CEO-Deans Board

The CEO-Deans Board is chaired by the chief executive officer of City Schools and the education deans of founding universities Morgan State and Johns Hopkins, with members including the BERC executive director, BERC research co-directors, and the deans from partner colleges and universities. The group facilitates communication about findings from current projects and how the district will implement changes to practice or policy. The group will hear district priorities from the CEO, and deans can share their special expertise and interest areas of their institutions. This opportunity to meet regularly will lead to deeper relationships and identification of more opportunities for local universities to support City Schools. This group meets twice a year.


Sonja B. Santelises (Ed.D., Harvard University) is CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools and has spent 27 years focused on building high quality teaching and learning to help students excel, including her tenure as Chief Academic Officer for Baltimore City Public Schools from 2010 – 2013. She returned to City Schools in 2016 after serving for three years as Vice President for K-12 Policy and Practice at The Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit focused on closing the achievement gap. Dr. Santelises first came to City Schools from Boston, where she was the Assistant Superintendent for pilot schools. Prior to the pilot schools post, she was Assistant Superintendent for teaching and learning/professional development in Boston. Before joining Boston Public Schools, Dr. Santelises lectured on urban education for two years at Harvard University and spent six years as a senior associate with Focus on Results Inc. Prior to that, she served as Executive Director of the New York City Algebra Project. She began her career as director of professional development and teacher placement with Teach for America, then served as a teacher and curriculum specialist at Decatur Clearpool School in Brooklyn. She has lived in Baltimore with her husband and three daughters since 2010.

Dr. Rhonda Jeter, a member of the Bowie State University faculty for almost 20 years, was appointed dean of the College of Education after a successful national search.  Dr. Jeter was promoted to full professor in 2012, served as department chair for eight years, and served as associate dean in the College of Education. She provided leadership for international program and in securing program accreditations from the National Council for Accreditation of teacher Education (NCATE) and Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  “I strongly believe that we have identified the ideal individual to guide the College of Education into the future,” said Provost Weldon Jackson. “She is both an energetic and inspirational leader, and she will provide a clear course for the college as it not only navigates, but continues to thrive in the changing world of higher education.”

James Takona, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Education at Coppin State University. In his current position, Dean Takona directs academic programs offered through the School of Arts & Sciences as well as the School of Education. Prior to taking his current assignment at Coppin State University, Dr. Takona served as Associate Dean of the College of Education at Spalding University, Louisville, KY. In that capacity, he was responsible for the administration of all academic programs, including managing program approvals and accreditation activities of the College of Education and the implementation of various partnership relationships between the University and local school district. His areas of expertise are in program evaluation and teacher assessment. He is author and co-author several textbooks; numerous published articles, as well as regular presenter in national and international conferences. His notable publications include: Educational Research: Principles and Practice (2003); Pre-Service Teacher Portfolio Evaluation (2003); Primer for Developing a Pre-Service Teacher Portfolio (2004); The Devastating Impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on Health and Education: Voices of the Children (2007); and Youth Violence in American Schools: How Can It Be Alleviated (2009).

Christopher Morphew  (Ph.D., Stanford University), Dean of the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, concentrates his research on issues of institutional diversity in higher education, including those related to state higher education policy and the ways in which colleges and universities communicate to constituent groups. He has held leadership positions in the Association for the Study of Higher Education and American Educational Research Association, and he has made invited and refereed presentations in more than two dozen countries. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Research Council of Norway and Ford Foundation. His most recent book, co-edited with John Braxton, The Challenges of Independent Colleges. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins School of Education, he was professor and executive associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He has also held tenured positions at the University of Georgia and University of Kansas, and served as a visiting professor and Leiv Eiriksson Scholar the University of Oslo.

Joshua Smith (Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Methodology from the University of Albany, State University of New York), is the dean of the School of Education at Loyola University Maryland.  Smith earned his B.A. in U.S. History, M.S. in Educational Psychology and Statistics, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Methodology from the University of Albany, State University of New York.  Earlier in his career, he served as an academic advisor and later as director of assessment in the office of undergraduate studies at the University of Albany, State University of New York.  Smith has been awarded over $3 million in external funding and he has 20+ publications in the areas of academic advising, educational transitions and urban education.  Awards and honors include the 2012 Student Government Association Servant Leader Award, 2006 Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award and the National Advising Association’s 2002 Outstanding Advising Award.  Smith is a past-President of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising and NACADA Center for Research at Kansas State University, Maryland Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE), and the Education Conference of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU).  In 2016, Dean Smith co-founded TransitioningU, LLC with a recent Loyola University Maryland graduate. TransitioningU is an educational technology company that guides students through the journey of higher education into their first job.

Glenda M. Prime (Ph.D., University of the West Indies), Dean of the School of Education and Urban Studies at Morgan State University, has 21 years teaching experience in the graduate level preparation of science educators/researchers. Dr. Prime’s publications include numerous articles in refereed journals in science and technology education and 3 book chapters on technology education, mathematics education and science education. Dr. Prime has also served as Senior Personnel and PI on NSF-funded grants. Her primary research interest is in classroom processes in urban science classrooms. Specifically, Dr. Prime explores the ways in which African American students’ science experiences are influenced by the socio-cultural position which African Americans occupy in American society and the implications of this for the preparation of STEM teachers for urban high schools. A secondary research area is in the doctoral preparation of science education researchers.

Laurie Mullen (Ph.D., University of Illinois), Dean of the College of Education at Towson University, joined the faculty at Ball State University and was promoted to full professor in 2010. During her 18 years at Ball State, she served as coordinator of secondary programs, associate dean of the Teachers College and acting associate provost for Learning Initiatives. She has also been co-director of Ball State’s Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships since 2008, and has served as co-editor of The Teacher Educator for eight years. Her research interests include teacher education, educational technology and university-school collaboration. Mullen’s background includes expertise in international projects, including outreach ventures in northern Africa, Asia and Europe. Her work with corporate partners included co-principal investigation on two federal Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) grants with Apple Inc., as well as a grant for the MyVisit Electronic Author Visit (EAV) series with Simon & Schuster.

Richard Clinch, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute. Dr. Clinch is an expert in the areas of economic and fiscal analysis, economic and community development policy research, economic impact analysis, and technology policy. He has authored over one hundred studies on the economic, fiscal or workforce impacts of policy decisions. Dr. Clinch is a recognized expert on economic impact modeling, community impact analysis, and occupational modeling. In the area of economic impact analysis he has authored over 100 economic impact studies ranging in size from the impact of a small housing development to the national economic impacts of the Medicaid program. In 2006, Mr. Clinch was asked to present an overview of economic modeling issues and projects by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis at a national conference. He has also provided expert witness testimony in hearings on economic impact measurement. Prior to working at the University of Baltimore, Dr. Clinch was a researcher the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress where he analyzed national science and technology issues. While at the Joint Economic Committee, Dr. Clinch organized a hearing and GAO study on the infrastructure conditions at the nation’s federal laboratories.

Jennifer King Rice (Ph.D., Cornell University) is dean of the University of Maryland College Park‘s College of Education and professor of education policy. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. Prior to joining the faculty at Maryland, she was a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Dr. Rice’s research draws on the discipline of economics to explore education policy questions concerning the efficiency, equity, and adequacy of U.S. education systems. Her current work focuses on teachers as a critical resource in the education process. Her authored and edited books include Fiscal Policy in Urban Education; High Stakes Accountability: Implications for Resources and Capacity; and Teacher Quality: Understanding the Effectiveness of Teacher Attributes, winner of the 2005 American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education book award. As a national expert in education finance and policy, Dr. Rice regularly consults with numerous policy research organizations and state and federal agencies. She was a National Academy of Education / Spencer Foundation post-doctoral fellow in 2002-03, and spent a recent sabbatical leave as a Visiting Fellow at the Urban Institute. She is a past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy.

Scott Casper (Ph.D., Yale University) joined University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2013, after many years on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno. A historian of the nineteenth-century United States, he is the author of Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine (Hill & Wang, 2008) and Constructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press, 1999), and the co-author, editor, or co-editor of seven other books, most recently The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History (Oxford University Press, 2013). He edited the annual “Textbooks and Teaching” section of the Journal of American History from 2008 to 2018, and was acting editor of The William and Mary Quarterly in 2008-09. He has worked extensively with K-12 history and social studies educators through the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the Center for Civic Education, and the Northern Nevada Teaching American History Project. He currently serves on the boards of Maryland Humanities and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

Richard P. Barth (Ph.D., University of California Berkeley) has been Professor and Dean at the University of Maryland School of Social Work for six years, previously serving in chaired professorships at UC Berkeley and UNC. He has led more than 50 studies of children’s services; developed and led the Child Welfare Research Center at UC Berkeley for 8 years; and has co-authored three books and many chapters and articles using administrative data to describe pathways through child welfare services; and completed seminal research linking child welfare data with data from special education, juvenile justice, mental health, and vital statistics.  He has previous experience as special educator, 15 years of experience as Director of the UC Berkeley Pupil Personnel Services Program, and a decade long member of a research collaborative at Berkeley that integrated scholars from social work, psychology, and education.  He has twice been a Fulbright Scholar, and has received distinguished achievement awards from the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California (the Flynn Prize for policy relevant research), the American Public Human Services Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Society for Social Work Research, and the American Psychological Association (of which he is a Fellow of Division 37).  He is also a founding Fellow and the Past-President of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.  He has served on the Research Advisory Committees for the NIMH Early Experience, Stress and Neurodevelopmental Center at the University of Minnesota and the NIDA Child Welfare Services and Addiction Prevention and Treatment Center at the Oregon Social Learning Center. Both of these have a translational research focus and provide opportunities to explore additional means to generate innovation between communities, service providers, and basic scientists. He is Deputy Director of UMB’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Research which is a collaborating partner with Johns Hopkins University in its CTSA. He is a leading social work scholar with more than 21,000 citations and a google h-index of 78.