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Jack Fletcher appointed Chair of the Department of Psychology

Jack Fletcher

Dr. Jack M. Fletcher, the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Psychology, has accepted a three-year appointment to the position of Chair of the Department of Psychology, effective June 1, 2014.

He succeeds Dr. David Francis, the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair of Psychology, who stepped down as chair to devote more time to his federally-funded research and his directorship of the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics.

“Dr. Francis has provided outstanding leadership for the Department of Psychology, leading a significant expansion of the faculty, graduate and undergraduate programs, and research productivity,” Dr. Fletcher said. “I hope to continue effective leadership of our outstanding faculty and staff, especially as we work closely with the University’s Tier One and health science initiatives.”

Dr. Francis said he “could not be more optimistic about the future of the department” with Dr. Fletcher as its chair.

“Jack has the respect of students, faculty, administrators, and people outside of the university and is committed to getting results,” Dr. Francis continued. “The Department, the College, and the University will all benefit from his contributions in this new administrative capacity.”

Dr. Fletcher has been a member of the UH faculty since 1979, initially on the adjunct faculty and then as a full time faculty member in 1985. He directs the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, a $9 million national Learning Disability Research Center funded by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. Its focus is the study of cognitive, neurobiological, and treatment factors in learning disabilities with an emphasis on 4th grade elementary school students.

"The reasons we're looking at grade four is to try and determine whether intervention as late as grade four can be as effective as interventions that start early," Dr. Fletcher said. "We are particularly interested in kids who have continued to struggle in elementary school."

For the past 30 years, Dr. Fletcher, a board-certified child neuropsychologist, has also worked on issues related to child neuropsychology, including studies of children with spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, and other acquired disorders.

Dr. Fletcher served on the NICHD National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He’s also been a member of the Rand Reading Study Group, the National Research Council Committee on Scientific Principles in Education Research, and the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education.

The author of 3 books and over 300 papers, Dr. Fletcher was the recipient of the Samuel T. Orton award from the International Dyslexia Association in 2003 and a co-recipient of the Albert J. Harris award from the International Reading Association in 2006. He was President of the International Neuropsychological Society in 2008-2009.

“Jack is an outstanding colleague and is highly regarded locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Dr. Francis. “He is an absolutely fantastic choice to lead the department forward because of his strong academic core values, and his understanding of research and teaching.”