Expert Profile

Julie Underwood
Dean
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education

Julie K. Underwood, a nationally recognized authority on school law, became the eighth dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education in August 2005.

Underwood taught at UW-Madison 1986-95 on the faculty of the Department of Educational Administration (now Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis). She has returned to Madison after serving 1995-98 as dean of Miami University ’s School of Education and Allied Professions and 1998-2005 as associate executive director and general counsel for the National School Boards Association in Washington , D.C.

At the NSBA, she led a legal advocacy program on behalf of the nation’s public school boards, including producing friend-of-the-court briefs and legal strategies before the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts. She also was responsible for the 3,000-member Council of School Attorneys.

At UW-Madison, Underwood has served as chair of the Department of Educational Administration (1993-94), associate dean of the School of Education (1994-95), and co-director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Policy at the Robert M. La Follette Institute of Public Affairs (1990-93).

She has co-authored several books, including School Law for Teachers (Prentice Hall, 2005), Legal Aspects of Special Education and Pupil Services (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1994), and The Principal’s Legal Handbook (Education Law Association, 1993).

She has a B.A. in political science and sociology from DePauw University (1976), a JD from Indiana University (1979), and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Florida (1984).

In 2008, she received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators.

Julie Underwood's discussions:

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Nick Taylor American Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, When FDR Put the Nation to Work
Anthony Sebok Cardozo School of Law
Brent James Intermountain Healthcare
Judge Edith H. Jones United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
William W. Bradley Allen & Company LLC
Tim Burke Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation

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  • Risk and Legal Fear in Schools
    With Lenore Skenazy, Frederick Hess, Megan Rosker, Walter Olson, and Nancy McDermott. Start date: June 5