By: Sammy Intrator  | 

Wurzweiler School of Social Work Dean Leaves After Five Years In Role

Wurzweiler School of Social Work Dean and Vice Provost Danielle Wozniak is leaving Yeshiva University in January to begin tenure at the University of New Haven as its provost and vice president of academic affairs. Field Studies Director Ronnie Glassman, who has held that role for the past 29 years, will take over as interim dean. 

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Selma Botman and the search committee will begin their pursuit for Wozniak’s permanent replacement for the next dean of Wurzweiler in January and expect to officially appoint a new dean for Fall 2022.

Wozniak joined the YU community in August 2016 and has held the dean and vice provost positions in the five-and-a-half years since. Wozniak’s accomplishments as dean include increasing enrollment numbers, enhancing the school’s brand awareness and renewing the curriculum. She also furthered research activity and online and hybrid curriculum options at the school. 

Wozniak received her doctorate in anthropology from the University of Connecticut and her master’s in social work from Fordham University. Prior to coming to YU, she was the dean of arts and science at the University of New Rochelle. Before then, she worked as the director of the University of New England’s school of social work.

“My time at Yeshiva represents some of the happiest times of my professional life,” Wozniak said. “I was fortunate to work with an amazing faculty and staff and together we built a thriving, well-run school. Perhaps more than that, we built a really happy place to work. And a place where students knew they would get the caring, expertise, and support they needed to complete their graduate education.”  

She continued, “I come away feeling honored to have been a part of the Yeshiva family and honored to have been a part of such a wonderful institution.” 

Associate Dean Jay Sweifach, who received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Wurzweiler, has worked under Wozniak for close to four-and-a-half years as associate dean. “I was very fortunate to work alongside Dean Wozniak as her Associate Dean for almost the entirety of her tenure at YU,” Sweifach remarked. “As a visionary with a load of energy, she definitely kept me on my toes. She's smart, and savvy, and there is much to thank her for regarding where she found Wurzweiler, and where she is leaving Wurzweiler.”

Glassman sent a message to the students thanking Wozniak and formally introducing her own role as the interim dean. In the message, Dr. Glassman expressed her goals for the duration of her time in the dean’s office, saying, “My agenda includes getting to know some of you better and working with student leaders to keep my finger on the pulse of what you are doing and needing.”

Botman and the search committee will be enlisting the help of a national search firm to best conduct their headhunt for Wozniak’s successor. Among the traits Botman and the search committee are looking for in candidates are experience and innovative leadership. The new dean will need to be able to “expand the successes Wurzweiler has seen in offerings, enrollment, and community programming.”

“Along with members of the WSSW and the entire YU community, I send our best wishes to Danielle Wozniak,” Botman told The Commentator. “Because of her efforts and creativity, and through the dedicated work of the School’s faculty and staff, the next dean will inherit a strong unit poised for even greater growth and stature.” 

Botman also thanked Dr. Glassman for holding down the fort after Dean Wozniak’s departure, adding, “we thank Ronnie Glassman, a long time WSSW faculty member and administrator, for stepping into the role of Interim Dean. Ronnie has the support of the faculty and will continue to shine light on social work at YU.”

“Wurzweiler is an amazing school — made so by the faculty and staff — and you. Wonderful, wonderful students. So continue to do well; continue to work on repairing the world. Continue to be the amazing force for good that the world so desperately needs,” shared Wozniak in her final message to the students of Wurzweiler. “And as you succeed in the work of repair, know that I stand among those who are very, very proud of you, proud that you are a Wurzweiler student.”

Photo Caption: Danielle Wozniak will be assuming the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Haven.

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University