Tooms Cyprès named new dean of UAB School of Education

Autumn Tooms Cyprès joined UAB as the new dean of the School of Education on July 1.

Written by: Tiffany Westry

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toom cypres vAutumn Tooms Cyprès, Ed.D.Autumn Tooms Cyprès, Ed.D., has been named dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education after a national search.  

Cyprès joins UAB from St. John’s University in New York City, where she served as the associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies for the School of Education. Her research interests include the politics of education, change in the professoriate, higher education leadership, and building bridges between those who prepare school leaders and those leading school systems.

“As a former school principal and health educator, I see incredible opportunities to extend the bridges we have built with the Alabama community focused on the intersections of education, health and wellness,” Cyprès said. “I’m looking forward to serving our students, faculty and staff in ways which foster the creation and translation of knowledge that changes the world.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in secondary education with a specialization in biology and chemistry in 1988. She later earned a master’s degree in education from Northern Arizona University in 1992 and a doctoral degree from Arizona State University in 1996. She is a former biology teacher and has served in many administrative roles, including associate dean, department chair, founding director of the Leadership Academy at the University of Tennessee and graduate program coordinator.  

She has served as a program evaluator for school leadership preparation programs and as president of both the University Council for Educational Administration and the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration. Her research has been recognized nationally and can be found in such journals as Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Leadership and Teacher’s College Record. Her most recent books, which include “Ferocious Resolve: Politics, Courage, and What it’s Like to be a Professor,” examine the politics of leadership within the professoriate.

“Autumn is an experienced administrator who has the enthusiasm and passion to lead the School of Education and implement the vision outlined in the Strategic Plan,” said Pam Benoit, Ph.D., senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. “I have tremendous confidence that she will provide leadership to enhance meaningful community engagement to improve educational opportunities and access in our communities and increase the visibility of the school.” 

Cyprès succeeds Lynn Kirkland, Ed.D., who was named interim dean in July 2017. 

“We are grateful for the leadership of Dr. Kirkland during the transition period,” Benoit said.

“She has been an extraordinary advocate and demonstrated immense pride in the accomplishments of the school.”