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Council on Social Work Education: Dr. Kendall’s Appointment

Dr. Katherine A. Kendall Appointed New Executive Director of CSWE

President  Roger Cumming opened the meeting of the Board of Directors on October 26, 1963, with this announcement:

“Today we begin our work with  a happy event emerging from the Committee on Search and Selection for an Executive Director to replace Dr. Ernest Witte.   In accord with the plan of

Katherine A. Kendall, Appointed New Director of CSWE
Katherine A. Kendall, Appointed New Director of CSWE

your Committee, as reported to all members of the Board, we wrote to each organization, graduate school, and undergraduate department on the Council on Social Work Education lists, to announce the resignation of Dr. Witte and. to invite suggestions for the leadership of this important Council which could be considered by the Committee.

“It  was  clear  from  the  very  beginning  that Dr. Katherine  Kendall  was  an  unusually  competent person in her role of choice as Associate Director,  where she has so much to give to all social work education and especially the area of her great interest- international social work education.  However, to our delight and gratification, the letters poured back to the Committee stating in many different ways that Dr.  Kendall was obviously the person  of first  choice  as  full  Executive  Director. We then, with your approval, approached her with the proposal that she take this position with an understanding that we would give her full backing to carry out the top responsibility.  She accepted. So. it is my pleasure to state for you in person and in the full Board presence that we have a “choice” new Executive Director to carry on the Council on Social Work Education.

“I  think you will  not only be pleased to confirm this appointment,  but I  know that you are also going  to  be pleased with  the demonstration of  her  unique capacities  at this  meeting.   Working with  her  in this  interim  period has revealed to  me her wonderful qualities in executive skill, as prepared for this meeting to bring vital issues to the Board to examine, and in the evidence of her efficient stewardship in meeting problems during this  difficult period of responsibility for two big and important positions.”

Katherine Kendall with her mother in the mid 1950s
Katherine Kendall with her mother in the mid 1950s

Enthusiastic “choice” of membership and staff alike, Katherine A.  Kendall  brings to her new position of Executive  Director of the CSWE more than ten years experience in practically every phase of the Council’s, program.  Through the years, she has provided materials  for  recruitment,  policy statements for graduate education,  a  guide to social welfare content at the undergraduate level, articles in curriculum development, reports on advanced education, statements on policies, procedures and process in accreditation, a plan for the training of social work associates-the list grows very long!

Dr.  Kendall  has  given  consultation  to  graduate schools, agencies, and undergraduate departments; has worked with university officials, classroom faculty, field instructors, agency executives, agency staff and board members.  Her foreign assignments have taken her to many  countries  and  her service as Secretary of the International Association of Schools of Social Work has placed  her in the position of international  leadership in social work education.

Committed to the high purposes of social work as a  profession and to quality in social work education, Mrs.  Kendall  sees excellence in graduate professional education as an answer to many of the problems that plague  social  work.  “Quality  programs  will  attract good candidates and more of them,” she states.  “Excellence can create its own image in the kind of people produced by the graduate schools and the quality of service provided by the profession.  When we have real quality in the professional product, it will not be necessary to manufacture a ‘favorable image’ for the social worker.”

Clearly,  we  may expect-as President Cumming noted-informed and imaginative leadership by Dr. Katherine A. Kendall as Executive Director of the CSWE. Indeed,  it is difficult, if not impossible to conceive of anyone  better  prepared or  more admirably qualified than  Dr.  Kendall  to  guide the  Council’s  future a future that now looks very bright.

Dr.  Arnulf M.  Pins, who will join Dr.  Kendall in heading  the Council, will assume his  new duties as Associate Director on February 16, 1964. Presently Director, Personnel and Training Services of the National  Jewish  Welfare  Board,  Dr. Pins  is  no stranger to members of the CSWE.  He is Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the Council, and a founding  member  of  the  National  Commission  for Social Work Careers.  A frequent contributor to Social Work Education, he  is also the author of WHO CHOOSES SOCIAL WORK, WHEN AND WHY? published in 1963 by the Council…

Ed. Note:  Below is the press release announcing Dr. Kendall’s appointment as Executive Director of CSWE

KARON KEHOE                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OCTOBER 28,   1963




The appointment of Dr. Katherine A. Kendall as Executive Director of-the Council on Social Work Education was announced today (Monday, October 28, 1963) by Roper Cumming, President of the Council.

Dr. Kendall succeeds Ernest F. Witte, who resigned from the Council in July 1963, as head of the only national organization in the field of social work education.   It includes 65 graduate schools in the United States and Canada, 130 member undergraduate departments in the United States offering courses in social welfare, 35 leading voluntary and government national social work organizations in the United States, the National Association of Social Workers with its more than 22,000 members, and numerous local welfare organizations and interested individuals.

Dr.  Kendall, Associate Director of the Council since 1958, and Acting Executive Director since August 1963, has been associated with the Council from its organization.   In 1951 and 1952 she was Executive Secretary of the American Association of Schools of Social Work, one of three organizations which merged in 1952 to become the present Council.

Joining the Council in 1952  as Consultant on Educational Services, Mrs. Kendall has had special responsibility for curriculum and for providing educational consultation and related educational services to all schools of social work in this country and Canada.   In 196 she received a distinguished service award  for her contribution to social work education from the School of Social Welfare of Louisiana State University.

Mrs.  Kendall has also been extremely active in the international aspects of social work education.   Since 1954 she has been both Secretary and a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Schools of Social Work.  In addition to many foreign assignments in this connection; most recently, in February 1963, she directed a seminar in Spanish for Central American schools of social work which was held in San Salvador under Council sponsorship and financed by the Agency for International Development.

Prior to joining the Council, Dr. Kendall served as Social Affairs Officer, responsible for studies on international fellowships and education for social work, in the Department of Social Affairs with
the United Nations.   She was also Assistant Director, Inter-American Unit, and Training Supervisor, International Service, in the Children’s Bureau.

Born in Muir-of-Ord, Scotland, Dr. Kendall has been a citizen of the United States since 1940.   She received her undergraduate education at the University of Illinois, her ‘TA in Social Work at Louisiana State University in 1939,  and her PhD in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago in 1950.


Source: Katherine A. Kendall Papers. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Social Welfare History Archives. Minneapolis, MN:

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