Manuel J. Justiz
Dean, College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
A.M. Aikin Regents Chair in Education Leadership
Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education
Manuel J. Justiz, a former director of the National Institute of Education, has been dean of the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin since 1990.
Justiz was appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1982 as director of the National Institute of Education in Washington, D.C., where he served from 1983 to 1985 as principal spokesperson for educational policy. While in Washington, he worked with the National Commission on Excellence in Education to produce the celebrated study A Nation at Risk, which warned of declining standards in American schools and the consequent economic dangers to society. In 1984, Justiz appointed a study group that produced The Involvement in Learning Report. The report called for greater student involvement in the learning process and recommended that institutions of higher education establish higher standards for student achievement.
From 1985 to 1989, he was a Chaired Professor of Educational Leadership and Policies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and in 1988-1989 served as the Martin Luther King-Rosa Parks Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
At UT Austin, the dean has focused on building interdisciplinary academic and research programs across departments within the college and university, and between the College of Education and other external systems, including hospitals. Under his leadership, the college has consistently ranked among the best schools of education in the nation.
The U.S. News & World Report rankings (published in the 2015 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools) placed the College of Education fourth nationally among publics and in the top 10 overall. Over the past decade, the college was ranked number one among publics for three years in a row and has been among the top 10 nationally for seven years in a row.
Under Justiz, the college’s research and development expenditures increased from $2.3 million in 1990 to an all-time high of $64 million in 2012, and the college was ranked number one nationally in research funding for six years in a row.
The dean has made substantial progress in building technology capabilities within the college and integrating instructional technology into undergraduate and graduate curricula. He also has supported an interdisciplinary approach to teacher education, resulting in a partnership with other UT colleges in the nationally acclaimed UTeach program. In addition, he has advanced development efforts significantly over the past 24 years, raising the college's endowment level to a market value of over $57 million in 2014.
Justiz also serves as the senior dean (Dean of Deans) at The University of Texas at Austin. In honor of him, in 2012 the Foundation Advisory Council for the College of Education established the $1.5 million Manuel J. Justiz Endowed Chair in Math, Science, and Technology in Teacher Education.
Under former Texas governors Bill Clements and Ann Richards, Justiz was commissioner to the Education Commission of the States and, in October 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) in Washington, D.C. He was reappointed to this board in May 2002 and again in May 2003. His appointment continued through May 2004.
Prior to his Washington experience, the dean was on the faculty at the University of New Mexico, where he directed the Latin American Programs in Education. In that role, he established the only Spanish-language M.S. program in the nation in educational administration and served as liaison with American embassies, the U.S. Department of State, federal agencies and ministers of education in Latin American countries.
Justiz earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Southern Illinois University in 1977 and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1970 and a Master of Science in education in 1972 from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. Emporia State University, Texas Southmost College in Brownsville (now the University of Texas at Brownsville) and St. Leo’s College in Florida have conferred honorary doctorates on him.
The dean has published extensively in edited book series and professional journals on topics relating to diversity in education, partnerships between education and business, improving education through research, and higher education policy.