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Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D., was selected by the California State University Board of Trustees in January 2014, as the president of California State University, Long Beach (vz99), and she officially took office on July 15, 2014. Conoley is the first woman to be appointed president of vz99 and the seventh president in the history of the campus, which was founded in 1949.
Immediately prior to coming to vz99, Conoley served as dean and professor of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also served from November 2012 to August 2013 as the interim Chancellor of UC Riverside. She served as dean and professor of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University (1996-2005), and as associate dean for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Teachers College (1989-94). Also, she held faculty positions at Texas Woman’s University and Syracuse University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of New Rochelle and a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.
At UC Santa Barbara, in her role as dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Conoley oversaw the APA-accredited combined program in professional psychology—one of only a handful of such programs in the United States. She was the chair of the UC system-wide Science and Mathematics Initiative Executive Committee and participated in the development of a UC Santa Barbara campus-wide strategy to increase the quality, quantity, and diversity of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors who chose to pursue careers in teaching. In this role she developed new links with regional community colleges, school districts, area businesses, industries, non-profits, and philanthropies, and new relationships on campus among the colleges and the large UC Santa Barbara interdisciplinary science and engineering research centers.
Conoley is the author or editor of 21 books and more than 100 chapters, refereed journal articles and technical reports. Her areas of primary interest are interventions with children with disabilities —especially troubled and troubling children and youth — and family intervention. Her most recent work investigates the application of the science of positive psychology to educational settings. Examples of this focus are her co-authorship with A.P. Goldstein of the books, “Student Violence Intervention: A Practical Handbook,” and “Student Aggression: Prevention, Management and Replacement Training. She has also co-authored books concerning home/school collaboration (with S. Christenson), family assessment (with E. Werth), and school consultation (with C. Conoley). Her most recent book with her husband, Collie Conoley, is “Positive Psychology and Family Therapy” (Wiley, 2009).
Conoley is also well known for her work in psychological and educational measurement. She served for 12 years as an editor of the Mental Measurements Yearbook series published by the Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. She has been the Principal Investigator (P.I.) on several federally funded projects aimed at developing better school-based approaches to helping children with emotional and behavioral disorders. She also has been the P.I. on federal and state initiatives to improve teacher quality, especially in science and mathematics education. Conoley is committed to increasing the educational attainment and academic success of all students. She has presented papers and lectured throughout the world to educational and mental health professionals on these topics.
Conoley has been very active in leadership positions in the American Psychological Association (APA), and she has served on national boards including Teacher Recruitment (College Board) and Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies (APA). She has won university-level teaching and professional organization service awards. She participates on numerous Long Beach City and regional boards concerned with education, homelessness, and economic development.