Dean Sidorkin

Sacramento State has a new dean of the College of Education. Alexander “Sasha” M. Sidorkin, former dean of the Graduate School of Education and director of the Center for the Study of Innovation in Education, Institute of Education, at HSE University in Moscow, will begin his duties at Sac State on Monday, Feb. 6.

His appointment was announced Monday, Jan. 9, by President Robert S. Nelsen and Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“Dr. Sidorkin brings tremendous knowledge, experience, and passion to the University,” Lee says. “He will be a critical leader in our efforts to strengthen educational programs and to address California’s teacher shortage.”

Sidorkin has devoted his career in higher education to scholarship, leadership, and administration. He has an intimate knowledge of emerging trends, strategic planning processes, curriculum innovation, access and diversity, as well as national and international community connections.

“I am looking forward to joining the College of Education at Sac State,” Sidorkin wrote in an email. “The college already has achieved much and still has tremendous potential, which I will do my best to unlock. No hacking will be involved.” He added a “happy face” emoticon to the latter comment.

Sidorkin holds two doctorates in education: from Moscow’s Research Institute for Theory and History of Education, and from the University of Washington. He earned his master’s degree in peace studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Before his arrival at HSE University in 2013, Sidorkin served as dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College and director of the School of Teacher Education at the University of Northern Colorado. He also held professorial appointments at Bowling Green State University and the Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University in Russia.

His teaching and research interests include the concept of dialogical education, the economics of education, and innovation diffusion in education.

Sidorkin grew up in Novosibirsk, in western Siberia, where he received his teaching credentials and began his academic career as a history teacher. His wife, Svetlana Sidorkina, is an artist and art educator. She will be coming with him to Sacramento.

To learn more about Sidorkin and to follow his blog, “The Russian Bear’s Diaries,” go to

Caroline Turner, who has served as interim dean of the College of Education for the past few months, will return to the faculty. – Dixie Reid