Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

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Director of the Math Learning Center Appointed

Posted: July 10, 2013

The Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. William Speer, past dean of the College of Education and a tenured professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning, UNLV College of Education, as the Director of the newly created Math Learning Center effective July 1, 2013. 

His top priority will be to work with the campus on the continued improvement of remedial and lower division mathematics education at UNLV. The Director of the Math Learning Center will report to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and work closely with the College of Sciences – Department of Mathematical Sciences, Academic Success Center and the College of Education to develop new and more effective math education delivery modes. Mathematics education is a top priority at UNLV and considered a key element in our retention, progression and completion initiative.  Dr. Speer will engage UNLV faculty, chairs, deans and students to enhance our ability to provide a solid math education foundation for our students. 

"Bill has been actively involved in mathematics education efforts at UNLV and across the state of Nevada for many years. We are fortunate to have Bill agree to devote his energies to this project," says Carl Reiber, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Speer is Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He served as Dean of the College of Education at UNLV from 2009-2013. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Computer Education at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. Dr. Speer has been a Fulbright Senior Lecturer to the Bahamas, a Fulbright Scholar to England, a USAID Fellow to Malawi, and a Visiting Professor at Northern Arizona University's Science and Mathematics Learning Center. His B.S. and M.S. Ed. degrees were achieved at Northern Illinois University in 1969 and 1971 while his Ph.D. was earned at Kent State University in 1976.

Dr. Speer is a Past President of several professional organizations including the Research Council on Mathematics Learning, the School Science and Mathematics Association, the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Ohio Mathematics Education Leadership Council, the Nevada Mathematics Council (two terms), and the Nevada Association of Teacher Educators (two terms). He is also an Alumni Fellow of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. He has served on the Mathematics and Statistics Advisory Committee for the College Board, served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Washington, D.C. based Triangle Coalition of Business, Government, and Education and, currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of WestEd. He was a member of the NCTM Commission that released the landmark publication entitled Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics and was a major author on the revised NCTM teaching standards. He has also served NCTM as the Chairman of the Affiliated Services Committee and as the Chairman of the Board of the Mathematics Education Trust.

Dr. Speer is the primary author of the Wiley text, TODAY'S MATHEMATICS: Concepts, Classroom Methods and Instructional Activities, twelfth edition, focusing on content/teaching methods for the elementary and middle grades. Dr. Speer is the General Editor for the NCTM annual yearbooks covering 2011-13, has been a contributing author on six major books, and has authored numerous articles in various professional journals. He has served as editor of the IDEAS section for the Arithmetic Teacher journal and editor of the INVESTIGATIONS section of Teaching Children Mathematics journal. He has also served on the Editorial Board for the research journal FOCUS on the Learning and Teaching of Mathematics (now renamed as INVESTIGATIONS in Mathematics Learning).

Dr. Speer has been the recipient of college and university-wide teaching, research, and service major awards at both Bowling Green State University and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He is the recipient of the Golden Anniversary Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from Northern Illinois University. His service has been recognized by his selection for the Christofferson-Fawcett Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mathematics Education and the Mallinson Award for Distinguished Contributions to Mathematics and Science Education.

Dr. Speer has lectured extensively throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador, England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Hungary, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Malawi, South Africa, Korea, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Perhaps most importantly, he has classroom experience at each level and enjoys sharing and learning about how research informs educational decision-making and how the classroom lends itself to generative studies of teaching/learning.