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Dr. Tracy L. Cross is the new dean of the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Cross will assume his new role on August 1.

He replaces Dr. Paula Montgomery, who served as interim dean of the college after Dr. Nathan Roberts completed his term as dean in 2022.

Most recently, Cross served as executive director of the Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary, a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. Cross led the internationally recognized research and development center for the past 15 years.

The center, part of William & Mary’s School of Education, conducts research on gifted students and curriculum effectiveness. It also provides services to educators, policymakers, graduate students, researchers, and parents. The sophisticated instructional materials the center creates for gifted students are used in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

As dean of UL Lafayette’s College of Education & Human Development, Cross will lead one of the largest providers of certified teachers in Louisiana. The college also prepares students for a variety of careers through its School of Kinesiology.

He will also lead the college’s efforts to advance a number of strategic goals, including an ongoing initiative to re-establish a laboratory school, according to Dr. Jaimie Hebert, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. The laboratory school will provide students with an education based on exemplary teaching methods and an innovative curriculum.

“Dr. Cross’ deep commitment to higher education and his record of researching and advancing many facets of K-12 education underscore the kind of solid, imaginative leadership that will strengthen the college, its programs and its outreach,” Hebert said.

During his decades-long career in higher education, Cross has achieved many administrative accomplishments and areas of focus, including founding, coordinating, and directing research centers and institutes focused on a range of educational topics. He is an accomplished researcher, has been named a Fulbright Scholar twice, and is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the MENSA Education and Research Foundation.

While at Ball State University, Cross served as executive director of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, a public, state-supported boarding school. He also served as associate dean for graduate studies, research and assessment at Ball State’s Teacher’s College.

“At its core, education is about having a positive impact on students’ lives. And I’m really happy to be at UL at this time. I see a lot of opportunities to continue and expand on what is already working and to create new opportunities,” Cross said.

He holds multiple degrees from the University of Tennessee. Cross earned a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in educational psychology, an educational specialist degree in educational psychology and counseling, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology.

Caption: Dr. Tracy L. Cross is the new dean of the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Submitted photo