Dear College of Education community:
It is a great honor to be named as your next dean. I am grateful to Provost McInnis, members of the search committee, and everyone in the College of Education whom I met during the search process. Every interaction I have had with the college community has made me feel more certain that this is an ideal opportunity. Your hope, commitment, and optimism for the future of the college are contagious.
The College of Education has enjoyed a sustained period of extraordinary success under the leadership of your former dean, Manuel Justiz, and has continued to build momentum with the hard work of interim Dean Sherry Field and the college’s leadership team. With strong leadership, a world-class faculty, and a community of champions for the college, you have established an extraordinary foundation of excellence.
Concurrent with this strong foundation, we are in a transformational time in public higher education in general—one that demands more interdisciplinary collaboration, more institutional nimbleness, stronger external partnerships, and more attention to the core mission to improve access among underrepresented populations of students.
The College of Education is in a unique position to answer this call to action.
Together, we will continue to build on the college’s strengths, developing and disseminating evidence-based practices that make a real difference for children, schools, and communities. The strong binds that connect the college to diverse communities of practice will continue to be honored and nurtured, and they will serve as a bridge to developing a diverse workforce of educators and health professionals who will teach and lead in ways that promote equity and social justice.
As someone who was a first-generation college student, I have a deeply held belief in the transformative power of education. Like you, I feel a sense of urgency to address the longstanding opportunity gaps and education and health disparities that persistently affect our most vulnerable students, families, and communities. I can think of no better venue to move this sense of urgency into bold action than the College of Education at UT Austin.
As my wife Leslie Martinez and I transition to Austin over the coming months, I look forward to listening to you, learning more about your passions, and envisioning what we will achieve together. The college is already in a position of national prominence and is poised to advance its standing as a world leader in addressing the increasingly multifaceted challenges in education and health by harnessing individual and community assets, and bridging research and practice. I can’t wait to be part of it.
All my best,
CHARLES R. MARTINEZ, JR., Dean-designate
The University of Texas at Austin | College of Education