LAWRENCE — Wesley Church, professor and director of the School of Social Work at Louisiana State University, will make a public presentation Monday, April 17, as a candidate for dean of the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas.
Church is the second of four candidates for the position who will make public presentations during their respective campus visits. His talk will be at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the Centennial Room of the Kansas Union.
His areas of research expertise include juvenile justice, delinquency, parental response, attitudes toward sex offenders, and racial and gender bias. His publications include the book “Juvenile Justice Sourcebook: Past, Present and Future,” several book chapters and numerous journal articles.
Since joining LSU in 2014 as the J. Franklin Bayhi Endowed Professor and director of the school, he has overseen expansion of degree options, including online programs and dual degree programs with law, business and public health; and supervised an increase in both faculty publications and funded research.
Between 2003 and 2014, Church held academic appointments at the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He served as chair of Alabama’s social work doctoral program from 2009 to 2014. From 2005 to 2013, Church also served as adjunct professor of organizational leadership at Gonzaga University. His professional experience includes service as a correctional officer and a case worker in the Utah Department of Corrections as well as a research analyst on a variety of academic research projects.
He earned a doctorate in social work, a master’s of social work and a bachelor of arts in history, all from the University of Utah.
The dean of social welfare search committee, led by dean of the School of Law Stephen Mazza, invites students, faculty and staff to attend the presentations and provide feedback of their impressions. Each candidate will prepare a presentation on the topic: “The Social Work Profession in 2027 and the Role of Schools of Social Work in Preparing For It.”
The university will release information about each candidate roughly 48 hours before the candidate’s visit. Additional candidates are scheduled to appear:
- Candidate 3 presentation: 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union
- Candidate 4 presentation: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, Centennial Room, Kansas Union
All candidate presentations will be recorded and available for viewing online after the final candidate has appeared on campus. Evaluations of all candidates are due by 5 p.m. May 3.
Ranked in the top 20 nationally, the KU School of Social Welfare is an innovator in social work theory development and in research that makes positive contributions to communities. The school is the most established social welfare program in the state of Kansas and the only program to offer degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. In addition to the Lawrence campus, the school offers instruction and outreach in the Kansas City metropolitan area as well as western Kansas through Fort Hays State University and Garden City Community College.