Michael D. Andrew, professor emeritus of education, served UNH for 43 years, from 1966 until his retirement in 2009. He passed away on December 20, 2022, at the age of 84 at the family farm in Gorham, Maine, with services held last month.
Andrew was an exceptional scholar and nationally recognized innovator of teacher preparation for K-12 schooling. As a capstone to his remarkable career, he received the UNH Distinguished Professor Award in 2007, a recognition each year of the faculty member with an “overall record of excellent teaching, caring about students, devotion to the university community and substantial record of scholarly achievement.”
In his final year at UNH, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education recognized Andrew for his scholarship by presenting him with the prestigious 2009 David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education. He was also the first recipient of the UNH Kimball Fellowship Award in 1997. Andrew served a number of terms as chair of the education department and for decades as the department’s director of teacher education.
In 1974 Andrew led the way as UNH introduced its five-year teacher education program (with master’s degree), the first of its kind at a public university and one of the first two programs in the United States. Three decades later when receiving his Distinguished Professor Award, UNH President Mark Huddleston noted, "Professor Andrew was the original visionary for the University of New Hampshire's teacher education program.”
In the early 1970s Andrew had been advocating for national reform in teacher preparation in his widely read piece, “Teacher Leadership: A Model for Change,” which included the need for a year-long internship (not one semester or less), greater conceptual understanding of the profession and more structured reflection about one’s classroom teaching efforts.
In the 1990s, Andrew and a team of researchers empirically tested the claim that five-year programs produce better prepared teachers than four-year programs in what is now referred to as the Benchmark Study, an 11-university project involving 1400 teacher education graduates. Findings showed that graduates of extended programs like UNH entered teaching at a higher rate, stayed in the profession longer, received higher principal ratings and were more likely to assume teacher leadership roles.
Accurately described by a UNH colleague as a “modest person with a magnanimous spirit,” Andrew was beloved by his students, in part because he shared the good and the bad about teaching and helped students think about appropriate career paths both within and beyond education. He also spent many hours each year soliciting donations for a scholarship fund that helped sustain promising UNH students during the year-long internship.
Andrew’s wife, Anita, and his children highlighted that he was a “man of limitless depths and interests, and many worlds,” and that he “never saw or judged by social class.” I couldn’t agree more, as would my education department colleagues. Andrew was a world-class polo player, gentleman farmer, blacksmith, raised national award-winning sheep, bred and raced trotting-horses (with occasional wins and impressive payouts), loved to trout fish, recited poetry and could carry a tune.
Despite juggling so many leadership responsibilities and research projects at UNH, along with his dizzying array of personal interests, Andrew’s office door was always open, ready to offer wise counsel on professional and personal matters or chat about family and current issues.
Mike Andrew will be dearly missed by so many in and beyond the UNH community.