Portrat of Steven McMurtry (white man), Professor Emeritus, Social Work

Steven McMurtry, PhD

  • Professor Emeritus, Social Work

Dr. Steven McMurtry was a faculty member at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare from 1996-2021. His practice experience includes employment as a child welfare worker, researcher, and program evaluator.

Prior to his position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he was a professor at Arizona State University and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Calgary.

Dr. McMurtry taught courses in research methods, social policy, and child and family well-being.


  • Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1985
  • MSSW, Social Work, University of Texas-Arlington, 1979
  • B.A., Psychology, Texas Tech University, 1974

Professional Work:

  • Dr. McMurtry co-directed the Child Welfare Training Program with professors Susan Rose and Colleen Janczewski. The program is funded by the State of Wisconsin and offers financial assistance to current and prospective employees of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and its partner agencies to enable them to complete a specialized curriculum in child welfare. BSW, MSW part-time, and MSW full-time participants are eligible to apply. Since the program’s inception, it has helped prepare more than 325 students for work in child welfare in Milwaukee County, and many of these graduates are still employed by the Bureau and its partners.

Recent Grants, Publications, and Presentations:

  • McMurtry, S. L. & Rose, S. J. (August 2020). Long-term child welfare training project 2020-21. Educational grant funded by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Amount: $603,723.
  • Franklin, C. & McMurtry, S. L. (April 2019). Admissions and Recruitment. Invited workshop presented at the Annual Conference of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Christensen, B., Han, W., LaSala, M., & McMurtry, S. L. (April 2019). Growth in social work doctorates. Invited plenary panel at the Annual Conference of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education, Los Angeles, CA.
  • McMurtry, S. L. & Rose, S. J. & Berger, L.K. (2018). Rapid assessment instruments. In C. Franklin (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Work, Online Ed. New York: Oxford University Press.


  • Netting, F.E., Kettner, P.M., McMurtry, S.L., & Thomas, M.L. (In progress). Social Work Macro Practice, 7th ed. Boston: Pearson. This textbook is used in both BSW and MSW curricula to help students learn about practice in communities and organizations. It includes content on the history of macro practice, community and organizational theory, ways to analyze and understand macro systems, and ways to bring about change on behalf of clients. Additional information is available from the publisher.