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Moore Returns to Faculty After 26 Years as School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Dean

Aug. 31, 2015

Bert Moore

Known on campus as the “dean of deans,” Dr. Bert Moore has served 35 years on the faculty of UT Dallas and led the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences since 1989.

Dr. Bert Moore, a member of the UT Dallas faculty for 35 years and dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) since 1989, has announced that he is leaving his leadership position effective Sept. 1.

Known affectionately by many on campus as the “dean of deans,” Moore joined UT Dallas in 1980 as program head of psychology in the then-fledgling School of Human Development. He was appointed dean of the school in 1989. In 2002, the name of the school was changed from Human Development to Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS).

Under Moore’s leadership, enrollment at the school increased from 387 to 2,427. The number of faculty members more than doubled, and the number of degrees offered increased from five to 13. Two of the school’s graduate programs gained national accolades: U.S News and World Report most recently ranked UT Dallas’ audiology program third in the country, and the speech-language pathology program was ranked 11th.

“Dean Moore, for as long as I have had the good fortune to be his colleague, has manifested the qualities of intelligence, integrity and dedication to the common good that have made him the perennial choice of colleagues and the University administration when leadership challenges have faced UT Dallas,” President ad interim Dr. Hobson Wildenthal said. “He has built and leads a faculty community that exhibits a remarkable combination of outstanding research achievements, devotion to excellence in teaching, and a collective dedication to student welfare and university service. This same community of faculty and staff continually manifests a truly unique unanimity of respect, loyalty, and affection for the leader who has guided and inspired them for so many years.”

Bert Moore

Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SMU, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, where his specialization was clinical psychology, and  a PhD from Stanford University, where his specialization was personality and experimental psychopathology. He joined UT Dallas in 1980.

Moore said the time is right for him to let someone else take over as dean. “I’ve been dean for many years and have had lots of opportunities. It’s time to let someone else occupy this role,” Moore said.

In his modest style, Moore credited others for BBS achievements over the years.

“I don’t think legacies are individual things; they’re collective things. I’m leaving with a collective legacy with colleagues of mine at a school that has come a long way,” he said. 

“It would have been hard to imagine when I first stepped foot on this campus that it would turn out the way it did,” Moore said. “UT Dallas is one of those rare instances where the dreams of the people who founded it have been realized.”

Dr. Marion Underwood, Ashbel Smith Professor and dean of Graduate Studies, worked with Moore as associate dean in BBS until recently. She said Moore’s presence as dean will be greatly missed. 

“Bert Moore is a visionary leader who built the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences into the dynamic, unique academic unit it is today,” Underwood said. “Bert leads with courage, integrity and unfailingly high standards, but coupled with a generous, kind, considerate style that makes him a beloved dean and mentor to every member of our faculty.”

Dr. Thomas Campbell, Ludwig A. Michael, MD, Executive Director of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders and Sara T. Martineau Professor at the Callier Center, said Moore’s leadership and friendship have made a lasting difference in the center and the school.

“In his years as the dean, Bert Moore has left an indelible and important impact on the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. His deep commitment to the University and his generosity in time and resources has had a profound effect on the faculty, staff and students he has mentored,” Campbell said.

In his years as the dean, Bert Moore has left an indelible and important impact on the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. His deep commitment to the University and his generosity in time and resources has had a profound effect on the faculty, staff and students he has mentored. 

Dr. Thomas Campbell
Ludwig A. Michael, MD Executive Director of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders

Moore received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SMU, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, where his specialization was clinical psychology, and his PhD from Stanford University, where his specialization was personality and experimental psychopathology. He joined UT Dallas after appointments at Wellesley College and the University of California at Santa Barbara, as well as visiting positions at UT Austin and Stanford.

Moore’s research and leadership accomplishments resulted in his 2011 appointment as the Aage and Margaret Møller Distinguished Professor. Recently, he was named 2015 Distinguished Psychologist by the Dallas Psychological Association. The award is given annually to a Dallas-area psychologist who has made outstanding contributions to the field in clinical work, research or teaching.  One study for which he is well known explored the ability of preschool children to delay gratification. The Marshmallow Project, as it was called, examined the reasons that some children were able to delay gratification while others were not.

In the community, Moore is known for his commitment to the civil rights movement. In 1965, Moore wrote a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., inviting him to speak at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, where Moore was a leader of the student body. King accepted the invitation, and Moore ended up personally driving King from the airport to the campus.

Moore will remain a faculty member at BBS and says he hopes to continue involvement in two major school growth projects: The expansion of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders on the Richardson campus and the opening of the Bioengineering and Sciences Building

He said he is very encouraged about the future of BBS. “We have great leadership in the school and a wonderful array of faculty across all dimensions. And the school is a distinctive part of The University of Texas at Dallas, with its four research centers arrayed across the city,” Moore said.  “We have new research programs that are developing and we have new facilities that are going to enable us to do better student training and better research. So I think the prospects are just wonderful for BBS.”

Media Contact: Phil Roth, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2193, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].


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