B.S., M.A., Ph.D.Dean, Tift College of Education
James Barta was named dean of the Tift College of Education, effective July 1, 2015. He most recently served as interim dean of Bemidji State University's College of Health Sciences and Human Ecology.
Dr. Barta earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in early childhood education from the University of Oregon, his M.A. in learning disabilities/emotional behavior disorders from the University of Northern Colorado, and his B.S. in industrial science education from Colorado State University.
His first faculty appointment came in September 1991 as assistant professor of early childhood education and reading at Georgia Southern University. He spent 18 years on the faculty at Utah State University, where he served as assistant professor and associate professor in the College of Education and Human Services, before becoming associate department head of regional campus and distance education. While on the faculty at USU, he took a yearlong sabbatical to accept an appointment as a visiting professor in the Office of First Nation and Inuit Education at McGill University and in the Native Access to Engineering Program at Concordia University.
In December 2010, Dr. Barta led the development of the American Indian Teacher Education Program at USU Eastern in the southeast region of the state. The program focused primarily on developing American Indian teachers, working with underrepresented communities to recruit students and to develop programs intended to further diversify Utah's population of teachers. He served as director of that program through July 2013, before becoming the lead administrator of the College of Health Sciences and Human Ecology at Bemidji State in northwest Minnesota.
Dr. Barta has served in numerous leadership positions on university administrations and programs, national and international mathematics organizations, and editorial panels. He is currently vice president of Teachers-2-Teachers International, an organization of mathematics coaches who travel to rural villages throughout the world to provide professional development to local teachers. He is a member of the board of the United States National Commission on Mathematics Instruction and associate editor of the Journal of Mathematics and Culture. He recently completed a four-year term as president of the North American Study Group in Ethnomathematics.
A noted scholar in the field of ethnomathematics, the study of the relationship between mathematics and culture, Dr. Barta's research is primarily focused on the mathematics of indigenous cultures and communities. He has authored numerous scholarly publications, including one book, and has presented his work extensively at the international, national, regional and state level.