Cumberland University

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Eric Cummings

Dean of School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts, and Professor

Eric Cummings

Dean of School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts, and Professor


B.A., George Washington University

M.Ed., Harvard University

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University


After completing his B.A. in Political Science, Dr. Cummings worked for five years with adolescents as an outdoor educator and Head Climber at the North Carolina Outward Bound School, before pursuing his M.Ed. He completed his Ph.D. in Education Theory and Policy in December 2006, focusing on the history of education, measuring cognitive demand in the curriculum, and educational policy. He came to Cumberland in 2007 and resides in Nashville with his wife and three children.     

At Cumberland, he has taught courses in Education and Public Service Management, at the undergraduate and graduate level, online and on ground. He became Associate Dean for two years before becoming Dean of the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts.     

Dr. Cummings is involved in accreditation and approval of Education programs through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the State Department of Education, and serves in an advisory role to the State Department on the strengthening of University-P-12 partnerships. He currently serves on Representative Mark Pody's Policy Advisory Board, and as a board member for the 15th Judicial Advocacy District Child Advocacy Center. In the past he has served on the executive committee for the Tennessee Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (TACTE), as Government Relations Liaison, and was a member of the Lebanon Special School District Pre-K Council Advisory Committee.  On campus Dr. Cummings serves or has served on multiple university committees including Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, and the Strategic Planning Committee, and served as NCATE Chair. 

Teaching Responsibilities

ED201: Education as a Profession
ED435, 437, 445, 447, 450: Student teaching seminars
ED 191 Introduction to Computers for teachers
MAE 5040 Contemporary Issues in Education
M.Ed. 5160 Policy & Governance for School Leaders
ED 322 Education for the Developing Learner
MAT 5014 Education for the Developing Learner
FSL 101 Foundations of Scholarship and Learning

Scholarship, Research, & Publications


Blair, C., Knipe, H., Cummings, E., Baker, D., Eslinger, P., Gamson, D., & Thorne, S. (2007). A developmental neuroscience approach to the study of school readiness. In. R. Pianta, M. Cox, & K. Snow (Eds.), School readiness, early learning, and the transition to kindergarten. Baltimore MD: Brookes.

Baker, D., Cummings, E. (2008). Pennsylvania’s best investment: The social and economic benefits of public education. Philadelphia: Education Law Center.

Research Presentations:

Multicultural Attitudes & Education (with Karen Lea, Richard Parrott, Dale Oswalt). Annual Meeting, American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. Atlanta, GA; February 20, 2010.

The Social Benefits of Education. 2008 Keynote Speaker, Cumberland University School of Education Fall Symposium.

The Fall and Rise of Intellectual Rigor: The Case of School Mathematics, 1890-2000. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the AERA, San Francisco. April, 2006.

“The ethical burden of conflicting conceptions of intelligence for school administrators.” Ethics in Education Conference, Barbados, October 1, 2004.

“Popular American conceptions of intelligence from 1900-1925 and how they influenced the reception of intelligence testing in schools.” History of Education Society Conference, Pittsburgh. November, 2002.