Skip to main content

Thomas Smith

Professor, Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations


Tom Smith is a professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. He focuses on partnering with schools and districts to improve student learning and college and career readiness. He is currently collaborating with researchers at Vanderbilt, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and the University of Washington and practitioners in San Francisco to develop, test, and implement a system of practical measures and routines for instructional improvement in mathematics (PMR2). He is also Co-PI of the California Teacher Education Research and Improvement Network, working with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the California Department of Education to develop a state-wide data system to follow individuals who earn a teaching credential from their teacher education program through their experiences in the teaching workforce.

Smith is returning to Vanderbilt after serving in multiple leadership roles at the University of California, Riverside, including Dean of the School of Education, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. The opportunity to contribute to the Nashville Partnership for Educational Equity (PEER) was a major draw for him to return to Peabody.

Research Expertise

Education Policy
School Improvement

 Focus Areas

Induction and Mentoring of Beginning Teachers
Policy and Organizational Supports for Instructional Improvement
International Education
School and organizational Leadership     
Teacher Labor Markets

 Methodologies

Improvement Science
Longitudinal Designs
Mixed Methods Designs
Randomized Field Trials
Research-Practice Partnerships
Survey