Matthews named School of Education’s associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion

Percival Matthews will be the UW–Madison School of Education’s next associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion, Dean Diana Hess announced following a recently completed search.

Matthews has served as interim associate dean since Aug. 1, 2021, and will begin his new role on June 1.

Percival Matthews

“We are thrilled that Professor Matthews has agreed to take on this vital associate dean position within our School and lead our Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI),” says Hess. “He has proven over this past year to be a tremendous leader who understands the many EDI challenges and opportunities across our School — and he has the vision and skills to address them. I’m excited to see where Professor Matthews’ leadership takes us.”

Matthews has been a faculty member at UW–Madison since the fall of 2012, when he joined the No. 1-ranked Department of Educational Psychology as an assistant professor. Now an associate professor, Matthews studies the processes that lay the foundation for math learning, and he leads the Mathematics Education Learning and Development Lab.

Matthews also was the co-creator of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) Fellows Program, which is dedicated to increasing the diversity of scholarly leaders in the professoriate and other research professions. In recent years, he has also served on the search committee for the UW–Madison provost and co-led the search committee for the WCER director position.

For most of the past year, Matthews has devoted 80 percent of his time to the interim associate dean role, with 20 percent dedicated to department duties and his research.

The School’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion recently moved into newly updated space on the main floor of the Education Building (room 145, just inside the iconic red doors). The OEDI team now includes four full-time staff members: Sam Becker, director of teaching and innovation; Maame Adomako, undergraduate program manager; Tricia Dusick, graduate program manager; and Jason Roth, administrative specialist.

OEDI provides leadership to faculty, staff, and students in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that promote both the School and UW–Madison’s mission for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to serve as the associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion,” says Matthews. “We just recently got a truly top-notch staff in place, and I think we are poised to make some real progress on our strategic goals. I couldn’t be more impressed with the amount of support we’ve received from Dean Hess and from faculty, staff, and students across the School. I look forward to continuing our work and to seeing it bear fruit.”

Matthews took on the interim associate dean position after it was announced in June 2021 that LaVar Charleston was be leaving the School of Education to become UW–Madison’s next chief diversity officer. Charleston now also holds the titles of deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, vice provost, and the Elzie Higginbottom Director of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA). Charleston, who received both his master’s degree (2007) and PhD (2010) from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, began serving as the School of Education’s first associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion in June 2019.

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