Ph.D., Florida State University
MSW., Florida State University
B.A., Florida State University
Nonprofit and Community Leadership
Criminal and Juvenile Justice
Positive Youth Development
Management and Leadership (including nonprofits)
David W. Springer, Ph.D., is the Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and a Fellow to the Sid Richardson Chair of Public Affairs in the LBJ School of Public Affairs. After receiving his Ph.D. in social work from Florida State University, he joined the faculty at UT Austin in 1997.
Professor Springer began his career as a clinical social worker with adolescents and their families. Bridging direct practice and public policy, his research and teaching coalesce around effective leadership, nonprofits, and systems to strengthen communities. Dr. Springer leads the RGK Center team in preparing the next generation of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders.
Through research and education, the RGK Center seeks innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing global challenges. Springer’s recent courses include a graduate seminar, Leadership as a Catalyst for Community Change, and a Freshman seminar, Designing a Happy and Meaningful Life. Professor Springer also provides executive leadership training and mentoring for nonprofit professionals. His numerous teaching honors at UT include the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, the Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award, the DAD’s Centennial Teaching Fellowship, and selection into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.
Springer has co-authored or co-edited 14 books and over 100 articles, book chapters, and monographs. He is recognized among the 100 most influential social work journal authors by the British Journal of Social Work. His current research, funded by the Department of Justice (DOJ), is a cross-sector collaboration targeting crime reduction, community engagement, and neighborhood revitalization. His previous DOJ-funded research project, Restore Rundberg, was selected by the Austin Chronicle as Austin’s Best Neighborhood Revitalization Effort.
Dr. Springer works with community and nonprofit leaders toward sustainable solutions on a wide range of issues through the RGK Center’s Austin Area Sustainability Indicators, and serves on several national and local nonprofit and foundation boards.
Professor Springer has been recognized for his leadership in the field and impact on society: Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50, a national list of the top working executives in the nonprofit sector; Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR); Distinguished Alumni in Social Policy and Administration by the Florida State University College of Social Work; the Public Service Matters Spotlight Award by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA); and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Social Worker of the Year for his work on juvenile justice system reform.