Cover photo for Dale P. Scannell's Obituary
Dale P. Scannell Profile Photo
1929 Dale 2020

Dale P. Scannell

March 3, 1929 — February 14, 2020

Dale Paul Scannell died at age 90 on February 14, 2020 from heart failure following surgery for stomach cancer at Abington Hospital near his home in Flourtown, PA. Dale Scannell devoted his life to the field of education. Rising quickly in his field, he was appointed Dean of Education at the University of Kansas in 1969 and continued in that role for sixteen years. He then served for six years as Dean of Education at the University of Maryland in College Park, followed by posts at the University of South Carolina and at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) while he supported his wife Marilyn’s professional career. Throughout his tenure he mentored many faculty, both men and women, and he created a special program at the University of Maryland to encourage women to enter administrative roles in the College of Education. He ended his professional career at age 70 after serving for ten years as a consultant to the United Arab Emirates University, College of Education. Dale made many contributions to his field, including the development of the country‘s first integrated five-year program in education at the University of Kansas in 1981, and serving as a reform-oriented leader on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). He received the AACTE Pomeroy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education in 1989. He served as president of the Association of Colleges and Schools of Education in State University and Land Grant Colleges (ACSESULGC) and in many capacities at the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), where he successfully led a multi-year collaborative effort to design a new approach for the accreditation of teacher preparation programs. In Indiana, he worked with the Indiana Professional Standards Board (IPSB) to develop and pilot an innovative approach to state approval of teacher preparation programs, which served as a national model. Dale was nationally known for his teaching, writing and scholarly work in the field of Educational Measurement and Statistics. In 1964, in addition to his university role, he became the lead author of the Tests of Academic Progress (TAP) for the Houghton Mifflin Company, which later became known as the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency, a role which he continued until 1995. He was awarded a prestigious Fulbright-Hays Scholarship grant in 1966 to do research in Stockholm, Sweden. He authored or co-authored five textbooks in the areas of educational measurement and educational psychology. While serving as KU Dean of Education, Dale and a colleague proposed and implemented a pilot program to offer the first graduate-level continuing education courses in the Kansas City area, staffed by faculty from KU's main campus, for full academic credit; both were uncommon at the time. Due to Dale's pioneering efforts, the pilot program he established eventually grew to become the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, KS. Dale earned his BA, Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Iowa. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he served for two years in the Air Force as a Communications Officer, advancing to the rank of Captain. He loved to travel and was able to do so for both professional and leisure purposes. Mentally and physically active until an advanced age, he played racquetball until the age of 70, and bridge until two weeks before his death. He was skilled at cribbage and poker, which he often played with his children. He loved playing and watching sports. He was a trophy-winning bowler and pool player. As a high school senior, he was a standout on the Iowa City state champion football team, and he loved to watch college sports, as well as men’s and women’s professional tennis and golf. He was especially devoted to Jayhawk basketball. While at KU, he did a radio show called Professor's Pigskin Picks, where he and some colleagues made their weekly picks for college football winners. He parlayed that talent into also winning several turkeys given as weekly prizes in a local newspaper's football contest. Never forgetting his Iowa roots and friends, he was a Midwesterner who came to love his neighborhood outside of Philadelphia, where he lived for almost fourteen years. He loved being involved in local political activities, and he loved his neighbors and their celebration of his 85th birthday at Joanne and Bob’s house, and his 90th birthday party at Halligan’s Pub. He loved the neighborhood parties, get-together dinners, and the way his neighbors pitched in and helped each other. He was known for his humor and his ability to diffuse tense situations with a joke, impressing his friends with his repertoire and memory. A family man to the end, he was proud and supportive of his family’s accomplishments, and he was adored and admired by them in return. A friend and lover of dogs, he adopted four dogs throughout his married life, three of which were Golden Retrievers. Dog walking and socializing were a fundamental joy in his life, and their daily neighborhood walks enabled many friendships. His dogs and grandchildren inspired Dale to write three short illustrated books that celebrated both - Allison and Elle, Brian's Big Game, and How the Dogs Saved Christmas, which have had local readings for elementary school children. Dale Paul Scannell was born on March 3, 1929 in Iowa City, Iowa to Paul Andrew Scannell and Florence Fieseler Scannell. His parents and older siblings, Donald Fiesler Scannell and Florence Pauline Atkinson, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Marilyn Jean Meier Scannell, and his four children: Steve (Lynn) of Lawrence, KS; Jeff (Kathy) of Topeka, KS; Susan (Teri) of Lawrence, KS; and Janet (Beth) of Northfield, MN. Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Sara, Daniel, Travis, Jeremy and Kelly Scannell, and Allison and Brian Goodell, as well as four great-grandchildren: Alex, Landon, Julian and Jordan Scannell. A Celebration of Life reception for family and friends will be held at 3pm at the Blue Bell Country Club, Blue Bell, PA on April 4, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations in honor of Dale and his father, Paul Andrew Scannell. It was Dale's wish to establish a memorial fund in honor of his father, who couldn’t afford to finish his final year of law school at the University of Iowa, after he was forced to drop out to support his family. Memorial contributions can be made online or by mail to the University of Iowa, Center for Advancement ( to the "Paul Scannell Family Scholarship", or to the "College of Education Student Aid Fund" as a memorial gift - please note that it is in memory of the 'Paul Scannell Family Scholarship'.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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