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Warner Burke is Named the E. L. Thorndike Professor

Originally educated as a social-organizational psychologist (Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin) Warner Burke, Professor of Psychology and Education, was named the Edward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education by Teachers College President Arthur Levine, at the last meeting of the faculty for the fall semester.

Burke spoke about how he is dealing with the honor of the Thorndike chair: "It's both a feeling a pride and honor, but at the same time humility. This chair means more than anything else to me because it to really identifies me as a psychologist. This is the epitome for someone like me."

Professor Lois Bloom preceded Burke as the Thorndike Professor and the chair holder, prior to Bloom was Professor Morton Deutsch. Burke remarked, "In a sense, this chair is coming back to the program (Social-Organizational Psychology) where Morton was. So this brings it back home, so to speak, and that is also personally meaningful to me."

Burke teaches leadership, organizational dynamics and theory, and organization change. His research focuses on leadership and organization change. He recently completed four years as Chair of the Department of Organization and Leadership. As a consultant, he is currently serving as senior advisor to the strategy and organization change practice of IBM Global Business Services.

From 1979 to 1985 he was editor of the American Management Association's quarterly, Organizational Dynamics, and from 1986 to 1989 he started and served as editor of the Academy of Management Executive. Burke is the author of more than 130 articles and book chapters on organization development, training, change and organizational psychology, and conference planning; he is author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of 14 books. His latest book, published by Sage, is Organization Change: Theory and Practice (2002).

Prior to his career at Teachers College, Burke was professor of management and chair of the Department of Management at Clark University. Before Clark, Burke was an independent consultant from 1974 to 1976.

In looking forward to his work as the Thorndike Professor, Burke said, "I would like to create a graduate program for future managers and leaders of non-profit organizations. It would be exciting to develop the non-profit sector in terms of leadership and management. That's not an easy thing to launch, but it's exciting and it's something I know how to do. We could do the equivalent of an executive MBA program. It would be a cohort program for people who are in the working world. Teachers College has a record of doing that kind of thing all over the place and doing it very well."previous page