Van D. Mueller
Department of Educational Policy and Administration
[The Department of Educational Policy and Administration and the Department of Work and Human Resource Education merged in 2009 to form the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD).]
Van D. Mueller, professor emeritus in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration (EDPA), passed away on March 8, 2012. He taught in EDPA for 33 years and served as department chair from 1972 to 1981.
See the full obituary available in the Star Tribune.
A memorial service will be held at McNamara Center on the University of Minnesota campus on March 25 with visitation at 4:00 p.m. and service at 4:40 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Edith I. Mueller scholarship fund at the Department of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, or the Eva Burrell Animal Shelter in Manistique, Michigan.
Until receiving emeritus status in 1997, Van served as a professor of Educational Policy and Administration [EdPA and WHRE merged to form the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development in 2009] at the University of Minnesota. He served as department chair from 1972 to 1981. Prior to his University of Minnesota appointment in 1964, Van spent 10 years as a teacher and administrator in Michigan public schools and in the Michigan Department of Public Instruction. He also served in the U.S. Army for 30 months.
His state government experiences include directing a series of school finance studies in a full time assignment with the Minnesota Planning Agency; chairing the legislatively established Advisory Council on Fluctuating School Enrollments and two State Department of Education Task Forces on School Finance; representing the Regents to the Minnesota Council on Quality Education; and representing Minnesota to the Education Commission of the States. Van also headed a Governor's Task Force in Human Resources Planning. Van served as a consultant to school districts in 10 states and to Indiana, Minnesota, and Missouri for finance studies on those states. He conducted policy research for plaintiffs in school finance equity and adequacy litigation in Minnesota (Skeen, St. Paul and NAACP), North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Alaska, and Rhode Island. In six of these trials Van testified as an expert witness.
Van was a founding member of the American Education Finance Association (AEFA). He served two terms on the AEFA Board of Directors, and from 1991-92 he was the Association President. Van was also a strong advocate for parent/citizen participation in education. He served for eight years on the National PTA Board of Directors and held the offices of vice-president and treasurer as well as chair of the NPTA endowment fund board. Van was a past president of the Minnesota PTA, and he was involved in parent leadership training in a dozen states. Since 1978 Van served as Coordinator of the Minnesota Site of the Education Policy Fellowship Program, a leadership and policy program of the Institute for Educational Leadership, Inc. in Washington, D.C.
Van was agraduate of Central Michigan University (B.S. 1951) and the University of Michigan (M.A. 1958). He received his doctorate in educational administration from Michigan State University (1964). The Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education at MSU honored him with a distinguished alumni award in 1980. School finance had been Van's primary area of graduate level teaching and research, although for a number of years he taught courses in policy research and theory as well as a required undergraduate education course. Van advised over 150 students through the successful completion of their doctorates. Four of his advisees have received recognition by the American Education Finance Association for their outstanding dissertations.
Van published over 100 articles and chapters in refereed professional journals and yearbooks, some of which include the Journal of Education Finance, Educational Considerations, Planning and Changing, NSSE Yearbook, Kappan, and National PTA Journal. Van served as a co-editor of the American Education Finance Association's Fifth and Sixth Annual Yearbooks. He served as a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Education Finance since its inception, and he remained a regular reviewer of articles submitted for publication. Van had been a regularly invited presenter at meetings across the country sponsored by local, state, and national groups.
PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS
- American Education Finance Association
- American Education Research Association
- Minnesota Association of School Administrators (served on board of Directors 1994-95 and on MASA Foundation Board)
- American Association of School Administrators
- Minnesota and National PTA Phi Delta Kappa-0007 chapter
- National Youth Leadership Council, Board Member
- Education and Housing Equity Project, Board Treasurer
Van's widow, Dr. Mildred Mueller, is a retired professor of education at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. "Mike" and Van have three daughters, a granddaughter, three grandsons, two St. Bernards (Mozart and Abby), and two cats (Sophie and Cleo). Van and Mike were born, raised and attended public schools in Manistique, which is located in Michigan's upper peninsula. There they enjoyed spending time at their lake retreat.
Revised March 2012