Dean Manuel J. Justiz

Photo of Dean Manuel Justiz

Manuel J. Justiz
Dean, College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin

A.M. Aikin Regents Chair in Education Leadership
Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education


Manuel J. Justiz, former director of the National Institute of Education, has been dean of the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin since 1990.

Justiz was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1982 as director of the National Institute of Education in Washington, D.C., where he served from 1983 to 1985 as principal spokesperson for educational policy. While in Washington, he worked with the National Commission on Excellence in Education to produce the celebrated study A Nation at Risk, which warned of declining standards in American schools and the consequent economic dangers to society. In 1984, Justiz appointed a study group that produced The Involvement in Learning Report. The report called for greater student involvement in the learning process and recommended that institutions of higher education establish higher standards for student achievement.

At UT Austin, Dean Justiz has focused on building interdisciplinary academic and research programs across departments within the college and university, and between the College of Education and other external systems, including hospitals. He also has supported an interdisciplinary approach to teacher education, resulting in a partnership with other UT colleges in the nationally acclaimed UTeach Program.  Under former Texas governors Bill Clements and Ann Richards, Justiz was commissioner to the Education Commission of the States and, in October 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) in Washington, D.C. He was reappointed to this board in May 2002 and again in May 2003. His appointment continued through May 2004.

Under his leadership, the college has consistently ranked among the best schools of education in the nation. The U.S. News & World Report national rankings (published in the 2018 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools) placed the College of Education fourth among publics and tied for 11th overall. Over the past decade, the college has been ranked number one among publics for three years in a row and among the top 10 nationally for eight years in a row.

Under Justiz, the college’s research and development expenditures increased from $2.3 million in 1990 to an all-time high of $64 million in 2012, and the college was ranked number one nationally in research funding for six years in a row.  In addition, he has advanced development efforts significantly over the past 26 years, raising the college’s endowment level to a market value of over $60 million today. 

Justiz also serves as the senior dean (Dean of Deans) at The University of Texas at Austin. In his honor, the Foundation Advisory Council for the College of Education established a $2 million endowed chair. In 2015, Justiz celebrated his 25th anniversary as dean.  On the evening of March 5, 2015, 600 members of the College of Education, the broader University of Texas community, and special guests gathered to congratulate him and to celebrate the success of the college during his tenure. To commemorate this milestone anniversary, the UT Tower was lit orange with 25 displayed to honor Dean Justiz and his contributions to the college, the university, and the State of Texas.