Dr. William Bradley Colwell Biography

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Dr. Brad Colwell was appointed interim chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale effective Oct. 1, 2015. He also serves as a professor in the university’s Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education.

Dr. Colwell’s appointment by the SIU Board of Trustees marked his return to the university after serving for five years as dean of the College of Education and Human Development and professor in the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy at Bowling Green State University.

At SIU, he served as associate dean for academic and student affairs for the College of Education and Human Services from 2008 to 2010. He was chair of the Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education from 2004 to 2008 and served as the department’s director of graduate studies from 2001 to 2004. He came to SIU in 1996 as an assistant professor and was appointed associate professor in 2001 and professor in 2005.

He served as chair of the university’s Graduate Council and as a member of a number of university-wide committees related to accreditation, the first-year student experience, administrative searches and other areas.

Before joining the SIU faculty, Dr. Colwell was an attorney with Miller, Tracy, Braun & Wilson Ltd. In Monticello, Ill., representing more than 125 Illinois school districts in legal matters and labor negotiations. He also served as a graduate assistant in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Colwell, a native of Bluford, Ill., is former president of the Education Law Association and currently serves on the board of examiners of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and as chair of the Ohio Dean’s Compact on Exceptional Children. He was named by Mometrix Test Preparation among the 30 most influential deans of colleges of education in the United States.

His academic focus is on legal, policy and school management issues, including educational labor relations, education law, school finance and the politics of education. He has presented or co-presented more than 50 papers at national professional conferences; published nearly 60 articles, book chapters and monographs; and written more than 80 case reviews related to his field. In addition, he has delivered more than 150 papers and presentations at meetings and conferences in Illinois and the Midwest.

In addition, he has been the investigator or co-investigator on a number of grants, including two grants focusing on personnel development from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Dr. Colwell holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Anderson University in Indiana and a master’s degree in educational administration, a juris doctor (law) degree and a doctoral degree in educational administration, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Dr. Colwell’s appointment as interim chancellor extends through June 30, 2017.