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Lynn Videka
Professor of Social Work; Dean; McSilver Faculty Fellow
(212) 998-5959

Areas of Expertise

Peer-helping models for people facing life crises; the effectiveness of social work practice; prevention services, especially to mental health and child welfare populations


Dr. Lynn Videka joined the Silver School of Social Work as dean in September 2009. Since that time she has led the School in advancing its reputation for strong preparation for clinical social work practice; in broadening the mission of the School to embrace social justice, human diversity, and global social work; and in strong engagement with the School’s local and global communities. 

Dr. Videka came to NYU from the State University of New York (SUNY) - Albany, where she served as Distinguished Service Professor, dean of the School of Social Welfare, and vice president for research. Her tenure was notable for its many successes, including establishing new dual-degree programs in social work and sociology, as well as in social work and human development. As vice president for research she led the University at Albany to achieve more than $300 million in research expenditures. 

Her research interests include peer-helping models for people managing life crises or disabilities; the effectiveness of social work practice; and the intersection of family life and mental health, especially among vulnerable populations. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration in 1981, and her AM from there in 1976. She received her BSN with honors from the University of Illinois’ College of Nursing in 1972.

She has held many leadership roles in social work education, including president of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work and the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research, vice president of the Society for Social Work and Research, and commissioner of accreditation and treasurer of the Council on Social Work Education, among others.

Dr. Videka is a widely published author; among her publications are research on self-help groups for bereavement and loss focusing on widowhood and the death of a child, the first social work meta-analysis of mental health practice effectiveness (in 1986) with a subsequent book (Advances in Clinical Social Work Research), and ongoing works the effectiveness of social work practice. In recent years her work has focused on recovery approaches for persons diagnosed with mental health disabilities and child maltreatment. She has joined these two interests in her work on parenting support needs for mothers diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities.

Dr. Videka was selected as a visiting scholar to several institutions, including Hallym University in Chun Cheon, South Korea, and a Fulbright Fellow to Bulgaria.