The Institute for Educational Initiatives is led by Hackett Family Director Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., a Trustee and Fellow of the University of Notre Dame, as well as a distinguished political scientist. He received a Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008 for his service to the nation in strengthening communities through faith-based education. Father Scully was instrumental in establishing the Institute. A few years earlier, in 1993, he had co-founded the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), which provides comprehensive formation for teachers to work in under-resourced Catholic K-12 schools.
The Institute's founding director was Maureen T. Hallinan, one of the foremost scholars in the sociology of education. She was Notre Dame’s William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of Sociology, the author or editor of nine books, and past president of both the American Sociological Association and the Sociological Research Association. She was also the founding director of Center for Research on Educational Opportunity. She died on Jan. 28, 2014, at the age of 73.
The Institute was established in 1996 to advance the University of Notre Dame’s long-standing commitment to the future of schools. Until the 1970s, the University embodied that commitment in an academic Department of Education, but the Institute has now become the campus’s gathering place for a dynamic, interdisciplinary group of scholars sharing a deep interest in K-12 education and service to our nation’s young people.