AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin has named Charles R. Martinez Jr. the next dean of the College of Education. His appointment will begin Jan. 1, 2019. Until then, Martinez will serve as dean-designate, making regular visits to the UT Austin campus. He will hold the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education and the Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair.
Martinez comes to UT Austin from the University of Oregon, where he currently serves as a Philip H. Knight Professor in the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership, and as director of the Center for Equity Promotion.
“UT Austin’s College of Education is one of the leading schools of education in the country and is located in the second largest state, with a growing and diverse population. Charles’ scholarship, extensive K-12 policy expertise and proven success as a university administrator make him poised to build upon its success and lead the college as it adapts to the changing landscape of education and health,” said Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost. “Charles is an eminent scholar in minority health and education disparities, culturally responsive family-based intervention, equity leadership and community-centered prevention research, and is passionate about promoting equity in education and health outcomes for the most vulnerable populations in society. He will be an extraordinary leader for the College of Education, an important partner for the Dell Medical School, and an asset to the university community and the state of Texas.”
Martinez is a prolific researcher, having secured more than $35 million in sponsored research as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI. Agencies funding his research include the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Martinez served as the University of Oregon’s vice president for institutional equity and diversity from 2005 to 2011, where he led institutional efforts to develop and implement the first equity and inclusion plan for the university. He currently serves as a gubernatorial-appointed member and most recent chair of the Oregon State Board of Education, and he previously served as a publicly elected member of the Eugene School District 4J Board of Directors. He also served as researcher and senior scientist for 15 years at the Oregon Social Learning Center in Eugene, a nationally prominent nonprofit research institute.
Martinez, a clinical psychologist and prevention scientist by training, was a first-generation college student and earned his undergraduate degree from Pitzer College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the California School of Professional Psychology. His research focuses on identifying malleable factors within education and social systems that promote healthy adjustment for families and children, especially those from culturally diverse populations who frequently experience disparities in access and outcomes. He is particularly interested in how immigrant Latino families adjust to life in the U.S. and how to better harness culturally specific protective factors to ensure their success in navigating the many challenges associated with immigration.
“I am deeply honored to be joining UT Austin as dean of the College of Education. With an exceptional foundation of strong leadership, a world-class faculty, an engaged and passionate student body, and a vibrant external community of stakeholders, the College of Education is in a prominent position to lead the nation in addressing the most pressing problems in education, health and social systems,” Martinez said. “The college’s focus on centering its work with a commitment to equity and engaging authentically with external partners and education leaders to connect research to practice in ways that make a sustained difference in the lives of children and families make UT Austin’s College of Education an ideal fit for me.” He will succeed Sherry Field, who has served as interim dean since January. The previous dean, Manuel Justiz, served as dean of the college for 28 years.
The College is Education is consistently ranked among the top 10 education programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The college is home to more than 3,100 undergraduate and graduate students. Evidence-based hands-on programs prepare education and health professionals to bring vision and leadership to teaching and learning. Partnerships with leading local, state and national research centers and community practitioners prepare students for successful careers as teachers, physical therapists, coaches, professors and researchers.