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Donald B. Pope-Davis named dean of NMSU’s College of Education

A longtime educator with a background in psychology and diversity has been named dean of New Mexico State University’s College of Education after a national search.

Donald B. Pope-Davis has been named dean of the College of Education at New Mexico State University.

Donald B. Pope-Davis’ first day at NMSU will be July 15. He succeeds current dean Michael A. Morehead, who will retire from NMSU on July 31.

Pope-Davis said NMSU’s mission and status as a land-grant university attracted him to the institution.

“The opportunity to be engaged with a college and institution that places pedagogical engagement, excellence in scholarship, diversity and inclusive excellence, and collaborative learning as important core goals were extremely attractive to me,” Pope-Davis said.

“It has a commitment to serve the needs of the community in which it resides,” Pope-Davis said. “It wants to grow in terms of its research infrastructure and continue to elevate programs in the college and university to a level of distinction. Its goal is to be a transformative institution in the state of New Mexico. Those are the things I find very attractive.”

Pope-Davis has been a faculty member and served in high-level leadership positions both at DePaul University and the University of Notre Dame. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Iowa and the University of Maryland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and theology from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, his master’s degree from Indiana University and his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Stanford University.

NMSU Provost Daniel Howard said he is pleased Pope-Davis has agreed to serve as dean of the College of Education.

“He has a distinguished record of scholarship in the area of multicultural education and psychology and has been a leader in developing training opportunities for students in this field,” Howard said. “As an administrator, he understands the challenges currently faced by colleges of education and I am confident that he has the wisdom and vision to lead and strengthen the College of Education in the rapidly changing landscape of K-20 education.”

Howard added, “As we welcome the new dean, it is important to acknowledge the contributions of retiring Dean Michael Morehead for his outstanding service to NMSU. He has been a gracious and effective dean, and a strong spokesperson for both the College of Education and the field of education.”

Pope-Davis has been an educator for more than 25 years and has co-authored three books and written several research articles about multicultural counseling, education and psychology. The Journal of Counseling Psychology recently ranked him third in the country as one of the top research contributors in his area of specialization. The American Psychological Association acknowledged his scholarly contributions by awarding him the distinction of fellow in the Society for Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, and in the Society of Counseling Psychology.

He has also served on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Committee on Academic Certification and is currently on the Advanced Placement Higher Education Advisory Council.