NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
John C. Kidneigh (1907-1986)
Kidneigh was born in Nyssa, Oregon. He earned a BA, cum laude, from the University of Utah and an MSSW from the University of Utah and the University of Denver. He joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1946 and was Director of the School of Social Work from 1949 to 1972, when he returned to teaching until his retirement in 1975.
Prior to his tenure at the University of Minnesota, he served in regional offices of the Social Security Administration, was a supervisor in two public welfare systems, and held positions in various social work agencies. He was a visiting professor at Seoul National University, Korea; University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; University of Washington; and Portland State University.
Kidneigh was the author of more than 125 publications, which appeared in the Encyclopedia of Social Work, Social Work, Public Welfare, Social Service Review, Social Work Journal, and other publications. His many professional and community leadership positions include President of NASW, President of the American Association of Schools of Social Work, President of the Minnesota chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, and Chairman of the CSWE Commission on Accreditation. He served on the board of directors of Group Health, Inc., for 12 years, most of those years as chairman. He was the first Minnesotan to be accepted into the Academy of Certified Social Workers of NASW.
Kidneigh brought the School of Social Work into national prominence during his tenure as director. An undergraduate degree program was established while he was director, and a program to bring foreign professionals to the Twin Cities for an exchange program was initiated during his directorship.