Koff named director of Educational Skills Initiative

Robert H. Koff, Ph.D., has been named director of the Educational Skills Initiative in the office of the vice chancellor for students, announced James E. McLeod, vice chancellor for students and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

In his new position, Koff will direct an initiative that will focus on ways to expand the intellectual interests and educational skills of undergraduates with a focus on incoming freshmen. Koff will also have teaching and related responsibilities in the College of Arts & Sciences. He started at the University June 1.

“Bob comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience,” McLeod said. “His expertise will be extremely valuable to us.”

Koff previously served as senior vice president of the Danforth Foundation, a post he held for 11 years. There Koff was responsible for overseeing grant initiatives in support of efforts to commercialize St. Louis-based research in the life and plant sciences, community redevelopment in the 500-acre Jeff/Vander/Lou neighborhood in north St. Louis, the award-winning Policymakers Program and the nationally recognized Forum for the American School Super-intendent.

Prior to working at the foundation, Koff served as professor of education and psychology and dean of the school of education at State University of New York at Albany.

Koff began his career as a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford University and then as a faculty member at Stanford University. There he participated in the Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford, assisted in establishing the Stanford Freshman Seminar Program, and assisted in the design of surveys to assess the effectiveness of faculty instruction.

Koff earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1961 and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Chicago in 1966. He is a licensed psychologist in California and is registered with the National Council for the Registry of Health Services Providers.

He has authored or co-authored three books and more than 80 papers, book chapters and monographs. His most recent book was New Ways of Paying for College, co-authored with Arthur Hauptman in 1991.