Cross named dean of UL Lafayette’s College of Education & Human Development


Dr. Tracy L. Cross is the new dean of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of Education & Human Development. Cross will assume his new role on Aug. 1.

He replaces Dr. Paula Montgomery, who served as the college’s interim dean after Dr. Nathan Roberts ended his tenure as dean in 2022.

Cross most recently served as executive director of the Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary, a public research university in Williamsburg, Va. Cross led the internationally recognized research and development center for the last 15 years.  

The center, which is part of William & Mary’s School of Education, conducts research on gifted students and curriculum efficacy. It also provides services to educators, policy makers, graduate students, researchers and parents. The rigorous curriculum materials the center creates for high ability students are used in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

As dean of UL Lafayette’s College of Education & Human Development, Cross will lead one of Louisiana’s largest providers of certified teachers. The college also prepares students for a variety of professions through its School of Kinesiology.

He will also guide the college’s efforts to advance a range of strategic objectives. Those include an ongoing initiative to reestablish a laboratory school, said Dr. Jaimie Hebert, the University’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. The lab school will provide its students with an education that relies on model teaching methods and an innovative curriculum.

“Dr. Cross’ well-established commitment to higher education and achievement in researching and advancing many facets of K-12 education underscores the sort of solid, resourceful leadership that will strengthen the college, its programs and its reach,” Hebert said.

During a decades-long career in higher education, Cross’ many administrative achievements and areas of focus included the creation, coordination and leadership of research centers and institutes focused on a range of educational issues. He is an accomplished researcher, was twice named a Fulbright Scholar, and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the MENSA Education and Research Foundation.

While at Ball State University, Cross served as executive director of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, a public, state-supported residential high school. He also served as associate dean for Graduate Studies, Research, and Assessment for Ball State’s Teacher’s College.

“At its core, education is about having a positive influence on students’ lives. And I’m really happy to be at UL during this time. I see lots of opportunities for carrying forth and building upon what has been established and creating new opportunities,” Cross said.

He holds several degrees from the University of Tennessee. Cross earned a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in educational psychology, an education specialist degree in educational psychology and guidance, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology.

Photo caption: Dr. Tracy L. Cross is the new dean of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of Education & Human Development. Submitted photo