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UL Lafayette announces leadership changes in its College of Education

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Dr. Nathan Roberts is ending his service as dean of the College of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Dr. Paula Montgomery will become the college’s interim dean until Roberts’ successor is named. She will return to UL Lafayette in her new role beginning July 1. Montgomery, the college’s former associate dean and a professor, retired from those positions in 2020.

She first joined the University in 2002, as a faculty member in the college’s Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership. Montgomery spent 17 years in the Iberia Parish School System in a variety of roles, including as a teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal and principal.

She holds a doctorate in educational leadership and research and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. Montgomery is also an alumna of UL Lafayette, where she earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and a bachelor’s degree in social studies secondary education.

Roberts was appointed dean of the College of Education in 2016. He joined the University as a faculty member in 2001. Roberts will return to the classroom, where he will teach a variety of courses, primarily master’s and doctoral courses, covering subjects that include K-12 and higher education law. Another focus will be writing policy related to state and national education issues.  

“Nathan’s many years of service and leadership has enabled the College of Education to evolve in many innovative ways, and we’re pleased that he will continue to elevate our students and the University,” said Dr. Jaimie Hebert, UL Lafayette provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

As dean, Roberts has been a driving force in the University’s ongoing progress to reestablish a laboratory school. The not-yet-named lab school will provide its students with an education that relies on model teaching methods and an innovative curriculum. The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved the concept, and it received state legislative approval.

Under his guidance, the University’s Learning is for Everyone, or UL LIFE program, has flourished. It gives students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities an academic foundation, work experience and social opportunities. Students enroll in classes designed specifically for them, and audit regularly scheduled classes with other University students who mentor them. The program began in 2014 with four students; that number is now 31 students.

Roberts has also steered the College of Education to a new name. The college is now the College of Education and Human Development, a change that has been approved by the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Board of Regents. The new name will be fully implemented during the Fall 2022 semester.

“The College of Education and Human Development better reflects the scope of the college’s mission, evolution and programs. In addition to our range of undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and certification programs for education majors, the college also houses the School of Kinesiology and the Department of Counseling, for example,” Roberts explained.

“The college is evolving rapidly and that will only continue going forward,” he added.

Roberts’ return to the classroom – and Montgomery’s assumption of the interim deanship – is one of several leadership changes within the college.

Dr. Shuichi Sato has been named interim director of the School of Kinesiology. He is also an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology. Sato replaces Dr. Gregg Davis, who accepted a position at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

The University will conduct a national search to fill the College of Education’s deanship.

Photo caption: From left are Dr. Nathan Roberts, Dr. Paula Montgomery and Dr. Shuichi Sato. Photo credit: University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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