OXFORD, Miss. – David Rock, dean and professor of mathematics education at Columbus State University, is set to return to the University of Mississippi as the new dean of its School of Education.
His appointment begins July 1, pending approval from the Board of Trustees of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Rock served six years as professor of mathematics education and curriculum and instruction in the UM education school in 1998-2004. Education dean at CSU since 2006, he developed CSU Internet Math Contests, the No. 1-ranked educational website that challenges students to solve demanding mathematical problems from across the globe.
UM Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Morris Stocks said he’s pleased that Rock is returning to the university.
“Dr. Rock will be a wonderful dean of the School of Education,” Stocks said. “He brings knowledge, energy and experience at a pivotal time at the University of Mississippi. I am thrilled that Dr. Rock has agreed to lead the school.”
Linda Chitwood, interim education dean and dean and professor of applied sciences, said she is confident that Rock can help the school adapt to the challenges it faces.
“Dr. Rock’s expertise in mathematics education – supported by the infusion of technology and his experiences as classroom teacher, university faculty member, department chair and dean – has contributed to making him the right person for this position,” Chitwood said. “He brings to the School of Education an energized leadership style supported by a record of creative problem-solving and visionary leadership.”
Rock said his vision is for the school to provide the highest quality programs at a state and national level using innovation and advanced technology that are grounded in quality research.
“This is an amazing opportunity for anyone,” Rock said of the deanship. “I am truly honored to be selected, and my family and I are extremely excited about returning to Ole Miss and Oxford.”
In his new post, Rock will assist with fundraising, resource management and faculty development, as well as research and curriculum matters.
“We must ensure that faculty and staff support a student-centered atmosphere that enhances the quality of programs at the undergraduate level and increases the strength of our graduate programs on a national level,” Rock said. “Our goal is to achieve national recognition and become one of the top 50 schools of education in the country.”
Rock holds doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida in curriculum and instruction and mathematics education, respectively. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt University.
Before becoming dean at CSU, Rock was department chair and professor of education at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He also was director of the South Coast Regional Math Partnership and served as an instructor at UCF, Trinity Preparatory School in Orlando, and Oxford University School and Central Elementary School in Oxford.
Rock was named one of UCF’s Outstanding Alumni of the Decade 1990-1999 in 2007 and won the Edyth May Sliffe American Junior High School Mathematics Exam Award in 1997. Between 2000 and 2003, he received UM’s Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology, Outstanding External Grants Award (twice), Outstanding Researcher Award and Outstanding Faculty Researcher Award.
Rock has co-authored 15 books, including “Teaching Secondary Mathematics” (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006), “Scratch Your Brain Where It Itches” (Critical Thinking Co., 2001, 2006, 2008), and “Teaching K-6 Mathematics” (Routledge, 2003). He and his wife, Michelle, have four children: Carly, Kyle, Katelyn and Cassidy.
Created in 1903, the UM School of Education is dedicated to the preparing students for effective leadership and service in increasingly diverse schools, homes and communities. Its mission is to provide exemplary instruction, relevant research and effective service through collaboration with schools, businesses, community organizations and the public.
To view Rock’s website, go to http://www.colstate.edu/mathcontest/
For more information about the UM School of Education, call 662-915-7063 or go to http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/educ_school2/.