Director search

Posted Jan 16 2013

Dear Members of the Laboratory Schools Community,

As many of you have now heard, David Magill has shared his plans to retire in June 2014, capping eleven years of outstanding service as Director of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Under Dave’s leadership, the Schools have grown, thrived and extended the distinguished tradition of excellence. At the high school level, the academic curriculum has broadened and deepened, instructional time has increased and co-curricular opportunities have grown. The Middle School, Lower School, Primary School, and Nursery/Kindergarten have been reorganized to allow each to focus on the best educational approach for each age cohort. New capacity has been added to address students’ special needs. The student body is more diverse, financial aid has increased more than 300 percent, and the Schools’ endowment has doubled. And of course, Dave has been instrumental in the current expansion of the Schools and the Lab+ campaign that has made it possible to create new and improve existing facilities to support the remarkable work of our faculty and students.

These examples only touch on Dave’s many accomplishments as Director. Over the next 18 months, we will have many opportunities to celebrate his leadership and the ongoing, exciting changes taking place at Lab.

A time of transition is also an ideal moment to look ahead and to examine the opportunities and challenges that the Schools are likely to face in the coming decades. We are grateful that Dave’s early announcement of his intention to retire provides our community the time to think through these issues and to consider the kind of leadership that will best lead Lab into the future. The Laboratory Schools’ Board of Directors will facilitate discussions on this topic and oversee the search for the next Director. We are very fortunate that Emily Buss, Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of Law and a member of the Schools Board of Directors, has agreed to chair the search. The search committee that Emily leads, and which will be announced shortly, will be active in reaching across the Lab community and more broadly to other educational institutions to gain insight into perceptions of Lab and into substantive matters that should inform our search.

You will be hearing much more about the search over the next few months. In the meantime, if you have thoughts you would like to share, we encourage you to send them to the search committee at

This is an extraordinary time at Lab. As we prepare to open the magnificent Earl Shapiro Hall, we are reminded of the many ways that Lab has reinvented itself since its founding in 1896. Despite its constant evolution, Lab has always been an integral part of the University of Chicago and reflective of the University’s enduring academic values and distinctive educational philosophy. We are confident that Lab, with a deeply talented faculty, a student body of exceptional promise, an alumni group of rare achievement, and a community of parents and friends fiercely committed to Lab’s success, has its brightest days ahead.

We look forward to working with you to strengthen Lab’s future and to identify the next great Director for the Schools. In the meantime, we express our gratitude and appreciation to our Director, Dave Magill.


John W. Rogers, Lab ’76
Laboratory Schools Board of Directors

David A. Greene
Executive Vice President
University of Chicago

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