Appointment of Professor Erica Walker as Dean, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (PDAD&C #36)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: April 12, 2022
Re: Appointment of Professor Erica Walker as Dean, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (PDAD&C #36)

I am delighted to announce that the Agenda Committee of Academic Board has approved the appointment of Professor Erica Walker as Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education for a five-year term from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2027. Professor Walker will also be joining the Faculty at the rank of Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning.  

Professor Walker joins the University of Toronto from the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is currently appointed as the Clifford Brewster Upton Professor of Mathematical Education and the Director of the Edmund W. Gordon Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). Professor Walker has served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology and is a 2022 American Education Research Association Fellow.  

Professor Walker is well known for her collaborative leadership and outreach. A former public high school mathematics teacher from Atlanta, Georgia, her research focuses on social and cultural factors as well as educational policies and practices that facilitate mathematics engagement, learning, and performance, especially for underserved students. She collaborates with teachers, schools, districts, and organizations to promote mathematics excellence and equity for young people. Her current research explores the role of storytelling in math education.  

An award-winning educator and researcher, Professor Walker’s work has been published in journals such as the American Education Research Journal, Educational Leadership, and the Urban Review. She is also the author of two books: Building Mathematics Learning Communities: Improving Outcomes in Urban High Schools (published by Teachers College Press in 2012) and Beyond Banneker: Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence, published by SUNY Press in 2014.  

She has received over $4.5M USD in grants since 2018 for her research from a range of agencies including the National Science Foundation. She currently serves on the Committee of Education in the American Mathematical Society, the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival Advisory Board, and the Public Math Advisory Board as well as several editorial boards.  

Professor Walker earned her BS in Mathematics from Birmingham-Southern College, her MA.Ed in Mathematics Education from Wake Forest University, and her Ed.D and Ed.M in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University, before joining Teachers College as a postdoctoral research fellow and professor.  

I am grateful to the Advisory Committee for their contributions over the course of this search, and to Professor Normand Labrie, who has agreed to continue as Interim Dean until December 31, 2022 to support the decanal transition. Professor Erica Walker’s commitment to education inside and outside of the classroom, academic leadership, public engagement, and vision for the future will be key to continued excellence at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the years ahead. Please join me welcoming Professor Walker to the University of Toronto.