Bruce Johnson Named Dean of College of Education

Bruce Johnson Named Dean of College of Education

By College of Education
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Bruce Johnson, dean of the College of Education (Photo by Jen Ryder)
Bruce Johnson, dean of the College of Education (Photo by Jen Ryder)

Bruce Johnson, longtime professor and department head in the College of Education, is serving as dean while the search for a permanent dean is conducted. Johnson succeeds Ronald W. Marx, who announced in the fall that he would step down as dean on June 30 to return to the faculty.

"I am honored, and a bit intimidated, to follow in the footsteps of Ron Marx, who served us so well for 14 years," Johnson said. "We have amazing faculty, staff and students, and I am looking forward to working with them in this new role."

Some of Johnson's priorities include improving ways for working professionals to become teachers.

"We need them not only because we need more teachers, but working professionals are already part of the community and will likely stay in Tucson," he said.

Another focus for Johnson will be scholarships. The amount of money raised in the college for student scholarships has steadily increased over the last several years, and Johnson wants to raise even more.

"We need to do all we can to help our students afford their education without being saddled with enormous student loans that will be difficult to pay off after they graduate."

Johnson began his career at the UA as an assistant professor in the college in 2000 after many years as an elementary and middle school teacher, outdoor school and summer camp director, and wilderness trip leader and business owner. He teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in environmental learning and science education and has served as head of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies since 2007. That department is being led by Walter Doyle during Johnson's appointment as dean.

Johnson conducts research around the world, focused on children's understandings, values, attitudes and actions related to the environment and how those develop through education. It should come as no surprise that Johnson's third priority as dean includes research.

"We need to continue to bring the research and expertise in the college to bear not only on our own curriculum – in how we prepare teachers, school leaders and other education professionals – but also on education practice and policy in our state, our country and across the globe," he said.

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