Department of Education Policy & Leadership

Les Black

Clinical Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of North Texas
3101 University Blvd Ste.345
Box 750114
Dallas, TX 75275
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Watt Lesley Black, Jr. joins the SMU faculty after a 26-year career in public schools, beginning as a foreign language teacher and culminating with a successful 8-year tenure as principal at Blalack Middle School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD.

Dr. Black joined SMU as an adjunct professor in 2009, teaching campus level law and ethics. Since that time, his teaching role within both the Accelerated School Leadership Program and the Educational Entrepreneurial Center has slowly expanded. He accepted a full-time appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor in fall of 2012.

Dr. Black previously taught on an adjunct basis with the University of North Texas at both the Denton and Dallas campuses. Additionally, he has developed and written school law courses and served as a “Master Professor” for the American College of Education.

Dr. Black earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas in 2002. A legal researcher and writer, his interests include student and faculty rights as well as diversity and equity in the public schools. In 2003, he co-authored an article in West’s Education Law Reporter with Dr. Frank Kemerer of the University of San Diego Law School, entitled “Legally Defensible Approaches to Racial Diversity in Charter School Enrollments.” In 2008, his research in the area of equal protection law led to the publishing of his first book, entitled “Public School Diversity and Affirmative Actions Admissions.”

During his career, Dr. Black has served on numerous task forces and advisory boards, studying issues as wide ranging as grading policy, professional collaboration, differentiated pay systems and student discipline. He has been a presenter on the topic of due process at the University of North Texas Assistant Principals’ Conference. In the spring of 2011, he co-presented at SMU’s Research in Mathematics Education Conference with colleague Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller on the topic of data and instructional improvement.