David Springer

Dean, Guy and Delores Spearman Professor of Social Work
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David W. Springer, PhD, LCSW is the 10th Dean of the College of Social Work and the Guy and Delores Spearman Professor of Social Work at Florida State University.

Bridging direct practice, community building, and public policy, Springer is a distinguished scholar focused on collaborative leadership to promote mental well-being and resilient communities.

A first-generation college student from Rockledge, Florida, Springer became a three-time alumnus of Florida State. He began his career as a clinical social worker, and upon completing his Ph.D. in social work from FSU he joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997.

Springer served in numerous leadership roles at UT Austin, including director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, interim dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and associate dean for academic affairs and graduate advisor of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work where he was also co-founder and director of the Inter-American Institute for Youth Justice. During his tenure at UT Austin, Springer received a number of university-wide teaching awards, including the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award, and selection into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.  

Springer has been recognized for his leadership in the field and his impact on society. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and a Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research. He has been named to the Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50 and selected as Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Texas Chapter/Austin. He was listed among the 100 most influential social work journal authors by the British Journal of Social Work and was previously honored as a distinguished alumni in social policy and administration by the Florida State University, College of Social Work.


  • Nonprofit and Community Leadership
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Forensic Social Work
  • Criminal and Juvenile Justice


PhD, 1997, Florida State University; Social Work
MSW, 1992, Florida State University; Social Work
BA, 1990, Florida State University, Psychology
AA, 1988, Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College)

David Springer