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Sep 12, 2008

DePaul University Mourns Loss of David O. Justice, Former Dean of the School for New Learning and Vice President for Lifelong Learning and Suburban Campuses

David O. Justice, of Oak Park, who served as the dean of DePaul University’s School for New Learning (SNL) and later as vice president for Lifelong Learning and Suburban Campuses, died Sept. 10 at age 64.

Justice retired as vice president for Lifelong Learning in June 2006. He was known at DePaul for starting new ventures primarily aimed at extending access to education to adult learners through programs and outreach efforts that went beyond the traditional university. In 2007, Justice received the Via Sapientiae Award, the highest honor given to university faculty or staff for their distinctive and extraordinary contributions to DePaul.

Justice joined DePaul in 1981 as dean of SNL. He served in that role until 1995.  Shortly before his retirement, Justice said he was especially proud that the School for New Learning was recognized as one of the models for adult education in the United States. Marisa Alicea, current dean of SNL, characterized Justice as “a passionate learner and teacher. He was deeply committed to making education accessible to groups of people for whom it had not been. David was a visionary in adult education at a time when universities were not thinking much about adult learners. His impact on adult learning will be felt for years to come.”

In 1995, Justice launched the Division of Lifelong Learning and Suburban Campuses at DePaul, where he played a pioneering role in the creation of the Office of Continuing and Professional Education. Now offering more than 55 certificate programs and serving more than 2,500 students annually, this unit incorporates distance learning, certificate programs, the English Language Academy, non-credit educational programs and conference services. Justice supported the development of the university’s suburban campuses, which expanded DePaul programs into the metropolitan area. He also built an educational consulting relationship for DePaul with the University of the Free State in South Africa, which worked to educate adults who had been denied higher education under apartheid.

Richard Meister, former executive vice president for Academic Affairs, remembered Justice: “David Justice played a leadership role in the transformation of DePaul over the past 25 years. Under his leadership, SNL grew from a school of a few hundred students to one of more than two thousand students. As vice president, he was responsible for DePaul embracing distance learning. His voice and vision will be missed.”

Before coming to DePaul, Justice was senior program officer for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) at the U.S. Department of Education from 1976 to 1981. He joined FIPSE as a program officer in 1973. He was a consultant in the Office of Education of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1972 to 1973 and an intern at the Institute for Educational Leadership at George Washington University from 1971 to 1972. He was an instructor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis from 1968 to 1970.

An Indiana native, Justice earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Wabash College and his master’s degree in history from Indiana University. He pursued doctoral studies at Indiana, received a certificate from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and studied as a fellow at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Justice served on the board of trustees of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz. He also was a consultant/evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. He served on the board of the National Center on Adult Learning from 1989 to 1999. He also served as president of the West Suburban Higher Education Consortium and on the board of Prescott College, Prescott, Ariz. He served on the Board of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and as chair of the planning committee for the 1994 International Conference on Experiential Learning in Washington, D.C. Justice was the recipient of the 2007 Morris T. Keeton Adult and Experiential Learning Award, bestowed by the Board of Trustees of Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

Justice is survived by his wife, Pamela Tate; children Kirsten and Owen (Catherine) Justice; grandchildren John and Marina Bundy; parents John and Martha Justice; brother Courtney (Diana) Justice; brother-in-law Larry (Julie) Tate; nieces Susannah Hall-Justice (Bryan Coulter), Emily Justice and Andon Tate; nephews Adam and Larry (Jeanette) Tate III.

Interment will be at Keeps Creek Cemetery (Pleasant Hill Cemetery), Logansport, Ind., on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. Eastern time (1 p.m. Central time). Memorial gathering will be held on Sept. 21 at 4 p.m. with a 5 p.m. service at Unity Temple, 875 W. Lake St., Oak Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are encouraged for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave., 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851 or

Funeral arrangements are by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home: (708) 383-3191.


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David O. Justice