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Kenneth Richard Wedel


Pioneering Contributions


Kenneth Wedel was appointed the first coordinator of the newly-established Knee Center for Strong Families at the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, University of Oklahoma in Norman in 2009.  As administrator of this historic program, Wedel’s extensive leadership skills blend with attributes such as discipline, a commitment and an interest in further strengthening the program of the Zarrow School of Social Work.  He is also a major voice in social policy and social programs.


Career Highlights


Wedel has been professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Work since 2004.  He was a professor at the school from 1979 until his retirement, where he also served as Interim Director from 2000-2001.  He was director of the School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma from 1979 – 1986.


Wedel was a visiting professor at the Institute for Health and Human Services Research, Florida State University in 1994 and a visiting research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia, in 1986.  He served as associate dean of the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas from 1976-1979 and as an associate professor at that school from 1974-1979.  He was also principal investigator for 28 grants from various state and federal government agencies, studying mental and behavioral health issues focusing on drug and alcohol abuse, impacts of welfare-to-work programs, domestic violence, violence prevention, curriculum development and recruitment for supervision of Indian Child Welfare Programs and social work training, among many other topics.


Biographic Data


Kenneth Wedel earned his Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973.  He received his MSW from Florida State University in 1964.


Significant Achievements and Awards

2012: NASW Oklahoma Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award


2004-2005: The University of Oklahoma, School of Social Work Hall of Fame Awards – Social Work Educator of the Year


1998-2001: Social Work Educators Representative, Oklahoma Council on Violence Prevention (Executive Committee)


1994-1995: Board member and President, Oklahoma conference, American Association of University Professors


1993-1995: President, Southwestern Social Work Association


Significant Publications


Kenneth Wedel has been primary or co-author on more than 50 books, chapters, articles and reports.  He has also co-presented over 60 papers.  Among these are:


LaRue, K., Neuwald, S. & Wedel, K.R. (eds.) (2003). Proceedings of the National Conference: Exploring Rural Transit Services for Your Community.  University of Oklahoma.


Chambers, D. E., & Wedel, K. R. (2000). Social policy and social programs: A method for the practical public policy analyst. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Wedel, K.R. & Baker, D.B. (1998). After the Oklahoma City bombing A case study of the resource coordination committee, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, XVI(3), 333-362.


Wares, D. M., Wedel, K. R., Rosenthal, J. A., & Dobrec, A. (1994). Indian child welfare: A multicultural challenge. Journal of Multicultural Social Work, 3(3), 1-16.


Chambers, D.E., Wedel, K.R. & Rodwell, M.K. (1992). Evaluating Social Programs. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


Wedel, K. R., & Conston, S. W. (1988). Performance contracting for human services: Issues and suggestions. Administration in Social Work, 12(1), 73-87.



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