Dr. William (Bill) Henk, dean of the College of Education, will retire at the end of this semester after 16 years of service to Marquette University.
As a dean, Henk has successfully led efforts for national and state accreditation, the designation of his academic unit as the College of Education, the creation of a new baccalaureate degree, and an undergraduate major in educational studies.
“Bill Henk served the Marquette community as a consummate academic leader, advocating tirelessly for the College of Education and education as a vocation,” Provost Kimo Ah Yun said. “He has shown deep care for student success, faculty development and engagement, and the College of Education’s unique position to help shape education and mental health policy more globally. I and the college and broader campus community celebrate his impact on the university and the field of education, and we wish him well in his retirement.”
“I’m extremely proud of what our students, faculty and staff in the College of Education have accomplished during my time as dean,” Henk said. “With the help of our alumni, friends and community partners, we’ve made a genuine difference in P-16 education and mental health locally and well beyond. Along the way, we fared well with accreditation, became a college, pioneered a popular blog, developed exciting new academic programs, produced impactful scholarship, supported Catholic schools and urban education, routinely achieved success in faculty promotion and tenure, and garnered several university awards and external professional recognitions. And there’s much more to come under the outstanding leadership that Dr. Burkard will provide.”
According to Henk, some of his most gratifying work includes helping to co-find the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Milwaukee and the Greater Milwaukee Catholic Education Consortium, and serving on the Archbishop’s Catholic School Commission and the boards of Catholic Memorial High School, the Milwaukee Academy of Science, and Cristo Rey. Currently, he is a member of the Leadership Council of Milwaukee Succeeds and the Greater Milwaukee Committee Education Committee.
His research specializes in reading and language studies, and he has earned a national reputation for his work in assessing reader and writer self-perceptions and for the development of classroom literacy observation instruments.
In recent years, Henk’s scholarship has focused on various aspects of the education deanship, and that work earned him and his co-authors the 2018 Neuner Award for Excellence in Professional/Scholarly Publication from the American Association of University Administrators. He is also the recipient of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers’ service and lifetime achievement awards.
Throughout his years at Marquette, Henk has served on various committees / planning groups and has chaired and served on several executive searches.
Prior to his career at Marquette, Henk served in teaching and leadership roles at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Penn State Harrisburg and the University of Georgia. He received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a master’s of education degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Education degree from West Virginia University.
“Personally, it’s been a genuine honor and privilege to serve in my role, and I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work at an institution with a passionate commitment to our Catholic, Jesuit mission,” Henk added. “In gratitude, I’m pleased that my wife and I could establish the Henk Family Endowed Scholarship in honor of my parents. In taking my leave, I will forever treasure the countless wonderful relationships I’ve enjoyed both within and beyond Marquette.”
Dr. Alan Burkard, professor and chair of the Department of Counselor Education, will serve as interim dean upon Henk’s retirement.
“Assuming the role of interim dean of the College of Education is a deep honor for me,” Burkard said. “Under Dr. Henk’s leadership, college faculty and staff have become influential members of the educational and mental health communities in Milwaukee. I have appreciated his vision for the college, and I welcome the opportunity to continue this work with such a dedicated and accomplished community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Although recent events have presented the university with significant challenges, I look forward to working with my colleagues to develop innovative programming to help meet the needs of Marquette and the larger Milwaukee community.”
In addition to serving as professor and chair, Burkard is the director of training for the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program. He is coordinator of school counseling, and a consulting psychologist for the Behavior Clinic at Penfield Children’s Center.
Burkard has been at Marquette for more than 20 years. He is a licensed psychologist and has a national reputation for his research, published work and presentations focused on school counseling intervention evaluation, multicultural counseling, and counselor supervision and training.