Ira C. Colby

Dean Graduate College of Social Work

Ira Colby

Ira Colby became Dean of the Graduate School of Social Work in 1999 and has spent the past 37 years in social work education in both public and private universities including BSW, MSW, and PhD levels of study. Throughout his career, Dr. Colby has served on, chaired, or held elective positions in a number of national and international social work associations, including the International Association of Schools of Social Work, the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, the National Association of Social Workers, the Action Network for Social Work Research and Education, the Institute for the Advancement for Social Work Research, and the National Rural Social Work Caucus. Dr. Colby is the immediate past president of the Council on Social Work Education, the national educational association that represents 736 social work educational programs, on average 70,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in these programs, staffed by approximately 9,000 faculty.

He received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, the MSW degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a B.S. degree from Springfield College. Dr. Colby has served as principal investigator on many research projects, has authored 65 publications, including eight books and a popular introduction to social work textbook; and he has presented over 70 papers at national and international forums.

Dean Colby’s work has been recognized with a number of awards, including the bestowing of an Honorary Doctorate of Humanics from Springfield College, his baccalaureate degree institution, induction as a Fellow into the National Academies of Practice, the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work, a Texas State Senate Resolution for Outstanding Contributions to the state, the Tarrant County Texas Social Worker of the Year, the Central Florida Social Worker of the Year, and the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas-Arlington. He is an honorary faculty member at the University of Wales and East China University of Science and Technology-Shanghai.