MAY 20, 2021 — UTSA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy today announced the selection of Mario Torres, professor of educational administration and human resource development at Texas A&M University, as the dean of the College of Education and Human Development and President’s Distinguished Professor. He begins his duties August 1.
“I am delighted for Dr. Torres to join our academic leadership team as the next COEHD dean,” Espy said. “Mario is an accomplished leader and educator who is passionate about UTSA’s vision to be a model for student success and a great research university, as well as the college’s potential to be national exemplar in advancing excellence through diversity, inclusion, and equity advocacy.”
“Additionally, as someone who hails from San Antonio and a UTSA alumnus himself, Mario is uniquely suited to make a meaningful and enduring impact in our community, particularly in terms of expanding access to higher education.” Espy added.
Torres joined Texas A&M as assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development in 2003, earning tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2010 and promotion to full professor in 2017. He is the current holder of the Sydney & J.L. Huffines ’44 Endowed Chair in the college. He has served as department head of the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development since 2018, and held prior administrative roles as interim department head and associate department head. He served as program chair from 2010 and 2013 and led the effort to create the current fully online master’s program for school principal preparation.
Since 2009, he also has served as co-director of the Texas A&M University Administrative Leadership Institute, an annual conference for Texas school leaders focusing on critical issues in K–12 education.
Torres earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from Penn State. He earned both a bachelor’s degree in music studies and a master’s degree in educational leadership from UTSA.
“I’m elated to be returning to the Roadrunner family,” Torres said. “For me, the opportunity to join UTSA, already a premier HSI, at a point when the university is accelerating toward becoming one of the premier research universities in the country and perhaps the world is one I embrace.”
“I also look forward to giving back to the university,” Torres added. “It was the encouragement of several UTSA faculty I had as a student that helped instill my passion for education research. To this day, it serves as a powerful reminder of the life-changing impact faculty can have on students.”
His research focuses on students’ rights, the ethics of education reform and discipline policy, and organizational inclusion. Torres has received grants from the Kellogg Foundation totaling nearly $1.8 million to study organizational justice and demographic inclusion in urban school districts in South Texas and serves a co-principal investigator of a $13.6 million federal grant to examine leadership preparation for underserved school settings. He has published nearly 30 peer-reviewed articles in premier journals including the Educational Administration Quarterly, Journal of Educational Administration, and the Peabody Journal of Education, and has written a book, two edited books and 18 chapters.
In 2020, he was selected by The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as a fellow for the second cohort of its Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo, which seeks to increase the number of individuals who aspire to leadership positions at the executive and senior levels of Hispanic Serving Institutions and emerging HSIs. He is a past research fellow with the Mexican American and U.S. Latino Research Center and a former faculty member of the Teachers College Summer Principals Academy at Columbia University.
Torres says his work in equity and inclusion greatly informs his approach to leadership and his commitment to building consensus and support for those who have been historically underserved and underrepresented, and he is looking forward to working with COEHD stakeholders to shape a vision for the college.
“I’m thrilled to be joining a talented group of faculty, staff and students; there’s so much promise and potential in what we as a college can achieve,” Torres said. “Together, along with our community partners and donors, we will chart a course to help advance the university toward R1 status, while maintaining our commitment to enable social mobility for generations of San Antonians and Texans.”
The UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) is one of the leading providers of educators, clinicians, and practitioners in the San Antonio area and has one of the largest teacher certification programs in Texas. The college also boasts three accredited/verified licensure and certification programs including school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, school psychology, and behavior analysis. The college is responsible for innovative research and grants in STEM Education, urban educational outcomes, bi-national and bicultural issues, applied behavior analysis, integrated behavioral healthcare, special education, behavioral analysis, PK-12 school administration, higher education administration, and diversity pipelines.
COEHD enrolled nearly 2,400 students in the fall of 2020 in 12 undergraduate, 14 master’s, and four doctoral degree programs at both the Main Campus and Downtown Campus.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.