Ryan Tolleson Knee, PhD

Executive Director/Professor



Ph.D.             Social Work                 University of Denver                       1999         

M.S.W.          Social Work                  Eastern Washington University      1988

B.A.               Social Work                 The University of Montana              1985   


Courses Taught

I have taught across the undergraduate and graduate social work curriculum since my hire in 1994. I continue to teach organizational leadership, human service management/supervision, and grant writing/management to professionals across Montana.   

Teaching Experience




Implement the School's Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development to improve statewide training, education, research, and prevention.

Expand web-based learning opportunities for parents and professionals serving high-risk children and youth.

Develop a comprehensive database to improve suicide prevention programming statewide.

Develop a web-based certificate in child welfare to improve web-based training opportunities statewide. 


Field of Study

Non-profit Management & Leadership, Rural Mental Health, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Selected Publications

Austin, M. Anthony, E., Tolleson Knee, R. Mathias, J. (2016). Revisiting the Relationship Between Micro and Macro Social Work Practice: A Springboard for Discussion in Our Academic and Practice Communities. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. 97(4), 270–277

Tolleson Knee, R. (2014). An analysis of direct practice social work perspectives and behaviors in middle management. Administration in Social Work.  38(2), 146-157. 

Tolleson Knee, R. (Winter 2014). Pursuing self-knowledge while transitioning to academic chair. The Department Chair. 24(3), pp. 10-12.

Tolleson Knee, R. & Folsom, J. (2012). Bridging the Crevasse between Direct Practice Social Work and Management by Increasing the Transferability of Core Skills. Administration in Social Work. 36(4) pp. 390-408. 

Tolleson Knee, R. & Finn. J. (2011). Social Work in Montana and Beyond: Reflections on a Century of Practice. Montana Professor.  22(1) pp. 7-13. 



Professional Experience

Director - Center for Children, Families, & Workforce Development (2016 - current)

Director - Montana Child Welfare Training Partnership  (1999 - 2016)

Professor - UM School of Social Work (1999 - current)

Director - MSW Program  (2000 - 2005)   

DirectorThe Montana Campus Compact (1994 – 1999)