Julian Vasquez Heilig leads nearly 3,000 students, staff and faculty as the Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Education. While at UK, the College of Education achieved its highest ever U.S. News national ranking, implemented successful enrollment and diversity initiatives and co-created strategic planning for COVID-19.

His research and practice has been primarily focused on K-12 education curriculum, policy and leadership that impacts equity and innovation. A prolific scholar, in the last decade alone, he has authored nearly 50 publications. His background in K-12 education also includes working in the Houston Independent School District and serving as a 4th grade 21st Century Learning Program instructor in East Palo Alto, California.

Dr. Vasquez Heilig has conveyed invited testimony in state and national legislative bodies and volunteered expertise and provided empirically-based input focused on community-based education reform for non-profits, foundations, legislators, educators and other education stakeholders in many states and countries. He has also served as a volunteer education policy advisor and provided input for presidential and gubernatorial campaigns.

He has been honored with more than 30 teaching, research and service recognitions including Harvard’s Education Next top ten K-12 education policy voices in social media, Diversity in Education Magazine Multicultural Champion, and the passage of California Assembly Resolution 1459—which commended his state and national impact in the field of K-12 education.

Dr. Vasquez Heilig received his Ph.D. in educational administration and policy analysis and a master’s degree in sociology from Stanford University. He also earned a master’s in higher education from the University of Michigan.