UVA EHD Associate Dean Robert Berry Named Dean of University of Arizona’s College of Education

Tiffany Tolson

Berry, professor and associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion, will start his new role at the University of Arizona on July 1.

The University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development has announced that Robert Berry, the Samuel Braley Gray Professor of Mathematics Education and the associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion, has accepted an appointment as dean of the College of Education at the University of Arizona – effective July 1, 2022. 

“The goals and values of the College of Education at the University of Arizona are aligned with my professional values and goals,” Berry said. “I am excited to be a leader and colleague with faculty, staff, and students at the University of Arizona. I am ready for this opportunity and look forward to the exciting things that will come.” 

A member of the UVA faculty since 2005, Berry's scholarship and research are focused on equity issues in mathematics education. Among other topics, Berry is a leading expert on connecting mathematics education to social justice issues and helping students find joy in mathematics.  

“Robert is a truly excellent teacher educator, a researcher who explores important questions in mathematics education, and a colleague who is committed to serving the profession, the university, and the school,” said Stephanie van Hover, professor and chair of the department of curriculum, instruction and special education. “He holds students to high expectations and conveys the importance of teaching mathematics in everything he does. We’ve been so very fortunate to have Robert as a colleague, a leader, and a committed teacher educator. We are thrilled for Robert as he assumes the role of dean of the College of Education at the University of Arizona.”   

In 2020, Berry was appointed the associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion leading the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the school. Under Berry’s leadership, the office led the design, launch, and operation of DEI-focused professional development and community-building opportunities for the school’s community of more than 1200 students (online and in-person) and 300 faculty and staff. Since its inception in the fall of 2020, the Office of DEI has built several new suites of programs, trainings, workshops, and initiatives for the EHD community, as well as spearheading the launch of unit-level BIPOC alumni programming. 

“It is nearly impossible to overstate the contributions Robert has made to our school, and to the university, particularly regarding his leadership as Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” said Bob Pianta, dean of the School of Education and Human Development. “I know I speak for everyone here when I say it has been an honor to have him in our community – as a teacher, a scholar, a leader, and a friend. We wish him great success in this well-deserved new role.” 

Berry has served in a variety of additional leadership positions, including as past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the world’s largest mathematics education organization. He was recognized as the 2011 Mathematics Educator of the Year by the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics and received UVA’s All-University Teaching Award in 2011. Earlier this year, Berry was named to the National Academy of Education. 

“The University of Virginia molded me into a scholar and leader,” Berry reflected. “I am taking with me to Arizona a wealth of knowledge I have gained from my experience at UVA. I am deeply thankful for the collaborations and relationships I have developed at this university.”