Head of the class

New Education Dean Samuel Deitz says no school is an island — or at least shouldn’t be.

Head of the class

New Education Dean Samuel Deitz says no school is an island — or at least shouldn’t be.

An avid gardener, Samuel Deitz knows what it takes to grow flowers and vegetables in Georgia. He admits he’ll have to learn how to make those same plants thrive in Texas.

But after spending 29 years at Georgia State University and the last decade as its education dean, Deitz does know what it takes to grow good teachers.

“There are sets of expertise in other colleges that are not represented in the School of Education, nor should they be,” said the 55-year-old Deitz. “The schools of arts and sciences and others have content, and we have the teaching skills. We have to work together to produce a teacher.”

An expert in behavioral analysis and education, Deitz developed a program at GSU that takes students from the law and education colleges into the local school district to teach conflict resolution, the type of collaboration he plans to initiate here.

“We need to have lots of our students in the public schools, tutoring students,” he said. “A school of education has to be partnered with the local schools, not only to help them improve their schools but to help them prepare our students for what they need. “An education student might be taking math classes, but when they get to the classroom, they sometimes haven’t learned what the schools need them to know. The public schools can tell us that.”

Partnering with the business college is also high on his list. Many skills taught in business are desperately needed by teachers, especially those who go on to become administrators.

“If you look, most communities are trying to get businesses involved in schools, but they don’t know what to do,” he said. “If we could have a partnership between business and education, we could find ways business could get involved in the community that would be helpful.”

Just like figuring out the Texas soil, Deitz said he will be looking for new and innovative ways to make TCU’s education helm bud and bloom.

“That’s going to be one of my pushes, to get the School of Ed to look at things in a different way,” he said. “Not to say, ‘This is how we’ve always done it,’ but to say, ‘How can we do it that’s really skipping over old thinking?’ ”


Samuel M. Deitz Dean, School of Education Deitz and wife Tricia, a homemaker, put family activities with their three kids — Jacob, Celia and Joshua — as a top priority. But with two kids now in college, he’ll probably have more time for golfing, another favorite hobby.

BAE University of Florida, English and education, 1966
MAE University of Florida, educational psychology, 1969
PhD University of Florida, educational psychology, 1971

Professional: During his 29-year tenure at GSU, the College of Education saw increases in both external funding and student enrollment. As dean, Deitz formed vital partnerships with disciplines across campus, resulting in programs that impacted the business community, the university and public schools in Georgia.

“I hope to create innovative partnerships to complement the work already under way at TCU in urban education and math, science and technology education, to improve the quality of teachers for our schools. I am confident the faculty is ready to reach for and grasp a new level of national distinction.”