Austin ISD Superintendent and UT Alumnus Paul Cruz to Join Faculty at UT Austin

The College of Education is pleased to announce that Paul Cruz, B.S. ’87, Ph.D. ’95, will join the faculty this fall as a professor of practice in the Cooperative Superintendency Program (CSP) in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy.

In this non-tenure track position, he will serve as co-director of the program, together with Ruben Olivarez.

Cruz has served for six years as superintendent of Austin Independent School District. The district serves more than 80,000 students and has 12,000 employees. Under his leadership, the graduation rate has reached an all-time high, outperforming the state and the nation.

“Since first graduating from UT and becoming a teacher, Dr. Cruz has gone on to both continue his education to the doctoral level here at the College of Education and to serve our public schools in Texas as an outstanding leader,” said Dean Charles R. Martinez, Jr. “I have enjoyed collaborating with him on developing a shared research-practice partnership between UT and AISD, and know this work will continue well into the future. Dr. Cruz’s commitment to public schools is unwavering, and the college and our students are extremely fortunate to have his talent and experience as he joins our faculty.”

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Paul Cruz back home to our department, where he earned his Ph.D. in our Cooperative Superintendency Program,” said Victor Saenz, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. “Dr. Cruz has gone on to serve in various leadership roles across Texas including as superintendent at Laredo I.S.D. and Austin I.S.D. as well as a TEA Deputy Commissioner. He brings many years of experience as an educational leader at the highest levels that will greatly enrich the learning opportunities for our students.”

“I’m excited for the opportunity to work at The University of Texas at Austin,” said Cruz. “From parent to teacher to superintendent, I look forward to bringing my real-world experience to the university to work alongside world-class professors and faculty and inspire future superintendents and district leaders. The eyes of Texas will be upon them as they prepare to embark on their own journeys to serve students and families across our state and nation.”

Cruz began his career in education in 1987. He previously worked as a teacher, campus administrator, central office administrator and superintendent in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and south Texas.