Skip to main content

Darla Spence Coffey Begins Tenure as New President of CSWE


For Immediate Release
Lydell Thomas
Manager, Marketing and Communications

 Alexandria, VA, July 3, 2012 – The Board of Directors of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has unanimously elected as the organization’s president Darla Spence Coffey, professor of social work, associate provost, and dean of graduate studies at West Chester University. She will assume her duties at CSWE’s headquarters in Alexandria, VA, on July 2, 2012.

A nationally recognized author and speaker on issues associated with domestic violence, Dr. Coffey received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern College, her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD from Bryn Mawr College. She has been a member of the social work faculty at West Chester since 1998. She was director and chair of the university’s undergraduate social work program from 2002 to 2005 and since then has served in senior university administrative capacities. During the 2008–2009 academic year she served West Chester as interim vice president for academic affairs. Her service activities within the university and beyond are extensive, including co-chairing West Chester’s Campus Climate Intervention Team and serving as a founding member of the Advisory Board of Women in Leadership and Service.

Dr. Coffey also has been active in national social work organizations throughout her career. She is a long-time member of CSWE and has served on the Commission on Curriculum and Educational Innovation, where she played an active role in the development of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, and the Commission on Leadership Development. Dr. Coffey is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, and the Pennsylvania Association for Undergraduate Social Work Education, which she served as president in 2003–2004.

Dr. Coffey was chosen after a nationwide search and rigorous selection process that engaged leadership from across the field. The CSWE National Search Committee was chaired by Alberto Godenzi, dean of social work at Boston College, and included representatives from across the organization, the profession, and the nation. The committee was assisted in its efforts by Dennis M. Barden, senior vice president of the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.

CSWE is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States.