Frances Stott joined the Erikson faculty in 1979, became Vice President and Dean OF Faculty in 1992 and retired in 2007. A clinical psychologist and Barbara T. Bowman professor of child development, she focused her own teaching, research, and practice on social-emotional development throughout the lifespan, children and families at risk, and parent-child relationships. Fran made a significant contribution to the Institute and to the field of Child Development through developing and teaching the Human Development course, a cornerstone of the Master’s Degree Program, and developing and co-directing the Infant Studies Program from 1984 to 1993. Fran also developed the Doctoral Program and served as its first director from 1986 to 1994. When asked about her role in starting new academic programs, Fran responded: “Starting programs has been very rewarding; that’s part of what’s fun about being Dean.”
During her tenure as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Erikson experienced tremendous growth and development. Fran continued to oversee the development of new programs, including the Child Development and Social Work dual degree program with Loyola University, which led to the development of our current Master’s in Social Work Program. With her guidance and stewardship, Erikson ended its affiliation with Loyola to obtain approval of its degree programs, and earned accreditation and reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Fran saw this as one of her most important accomplishments. Another hallmark of her career was acquiring a contract with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to manage the Early Childhood Unit, which includes administering developmental assessments to children from birth to five years who are entering the foster care system. In addition to program development, Fran supported the faculty through promoting academic integrity and leadership. This included setting academic standards, ensuring the quality of academic programs, and providing support for research and funds for travel. She advanced the collaborative efforts of the faculty by creating course teams for mutual support and feedback. In the article, “Going Out at the Top of Her Game” published in the Summer 2007 Erikson newsletter In the Service of Children, she stated, “My philosophy—my dream—is that anyone who works with children ought to know who kids are and understand them.”
Fran was a member of several boards, including the Scholastic National Early Childhood Board, the Educational Foundation of America, and Parents’ Magazine. Dr. Stott is a past president of the Illinois Association of Infant Mental Health. A frequent consultant to social service and juvenile justice agencies as well as a contributor to professional journals and popular magazines, she is coeditor of What Children Can Tell Us (1989), a comprehensive guide to obtaining and assessing information from infants and young children. Dr. Stott earned her B.A. and M.A. from The University of Chicago and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University.