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Dr. Jill Burk Biography

Distinguished Faculty 2016 Award Recipient


Dr. Jill Burk is the former Dean of the College of Education at Tarleton State University and served the university for 25 years. Dr. Burk worked incessantly to improve public education in Texas by serving on boards, task forces, and foremost by being a great teacher. She taught public school before working on her doctorate and brought this knowledge and credibility into the higher education classroom. Her experience and experience were second to none at Tarleton, where she conducted undergraduate, graduate and doctoral   classes. “Dr. Burk is known across the state as the ‘Rock Star Dean of Education’,” said Dean Kelli Styron. “Her students loved her. They respected her abilities and the compassionate delivery of caring, careful instruction. You couldn’t ask for a  better  teacher.” Dr. Burk’s passion as an advocate for education was seen across Texas. She canvassed the state to not only recruit new teaching sites for student teachers, but also to visit with current partners and ask questions to determine how Tarleton was doing with its graduates, how it could help the partners or  improve  the program.

Her relationships with superintendents  enhanced Tarleton’s ability to widen the region where Tarleton students were placed. “Dr. Burk’s many years of work with future and current teachers in Texas put Tarleton on the map as the premier education institution within the state for teacher preparation and education,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Karen Murray. 

Dr. Burk left a resilient legacy at Tarleton through her works in and out of the classroom, and from our campus to the capitol. President Emeritus Dr. Dennis P. McCabe described Dr. Burk as “One of those rare teacher educators who can ‘walk the walk and talk the talk.’ her efforts in improving education will be felt by  children in Texas  for  many, many  years to come.”