Clinical Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of North Texas
3101 University Blvd, Ste.345,
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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.