David Andrews, Dean of the School of Education at Johns Hopkins
David Andrews, Dean of the School of Education at Johns Hopkins (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

David W. Andrews, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education, has been chosen to head a private nonprofit university in California that caters to nontraditional students.

Andrews, 59, will become president of National University on April 1. The university, based in La Jolla, a neighborhood of San Diego, has grown since its founding in 1971 to include 28 campuses in California and Nevada. It serves 30,000 adult students and working professionals in several fields but mostly in education.


"They are looking to better prepare teachers," said Andrews. "And they are looking for a more innovative approach to doing that. We're a good match."

Andrews came to Hopkins as dean in 2010. He is credited with launching an online education program that now serves 60 percent of the students, tailoring teacher education to suit individual needs, and earning the graduate program a spot at the top of the U.S. News and World Report ranking for the past two years.

He also forged community relationships as the school oversaw operations at a new public elementary-middle school in East Baltimore known as Henderson-Hopkins. He then moved into a neighborhood three blocks away from the school.

Andrews acknowledged that he will be serving a different caliber of student than those at the more selective Hopkins, but said he is hoping in California to improve how students learn. He also wants to expand the opportunities for those who "got a rough or late start or are looking to go in another direction."

National University is now the largest producer of teachers in California through bachelor's and master's degree programs. Andrews plans to expand the university's programs to other states.

He will take over for Michael R. Cunningham, who also serves as chancellor of the National University System, which includes several other academic institutions..

Cunningham said Andrews was chosen from a pool of about 120 candidates.

"One really exciting thing to us is that he did such a wonderful job at Johns Hopkins, creating a new school of education there and raising its status to No. 1 in national rankings," he said. "The main thing we want him to bring with him is his attention to quality. We provide a quality education, but we want to ratchet it up a notch."

Before coming to Hopkins, Andrews was dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University.

In Maryland, he has served on the boards of the United Way of Central Maryland and the YMCA of Central Maryland. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Auburn University, a master's degree in child development at Kansas State University and a doctorate in child development at Florida State University.