Cynthia (Cindy) Simpson, PhD

  • Provost
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Professor of Education


  • PhD in Educational Human Resource Development, Texas A&M University
  • MEd in Elementary Education, emphasis in Special Education and Diagnostics, Sam Houston State University
  • BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, Elementary Education, Texas State University

Dr. Cynthia Simpson is the Chief Academic Officer at Houston Baptist University.  She became the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs in January 2016 and previously served as Interim Provost in 2015. Prior to her appointment as the University Provost, Dr. Simpson served as Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.  She led the college in implementing several new initiatives including the offering of fully online degree programs in education and the development of the university’s first doctoral program—an EdD in Executive Educational Leadership.

As Chief Academic Officer, she serves HBU by implementing the vision of the President, Dr. Robert Sloan, and the faculty.  Dr. Simpson worked with President Sloan to take the University to the next level academically by instituting the universities first doctoral program. HBU is now a national, comprehensive university. In addition, she led the academic sector in offering several online degree programs in education, nursing, and apologetics.  Dr. Simpson played a significant role in establishing the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise and the Houston Theological Seminary. Dr. Simpson manages several federal and foundation grants that support student success initiatives at HBU.  Under her leadership, the University has seen an explosive growth in graduate students and degree programs. Dr. Simpson is currently working with university leadership to establish a new College of Engineering and to expand the university’s online program offerings.

Dr. Simpson has over twenty years of experience in the public and private sectors as an educator, advocate, educational diagnostician, administrator and chief executive officer. She maintains an active role in the education industry and serves as an educational consultant in the areas of assessment and program evaluation. She came to HBU in the summer of 2012 from Sam Houston State University where she served as faculty and program coordinator of special education. She has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sector as an educator, educational diagnostician, and administrator (Head of School). She maintains an active role in the education industry and serves as an educational consultant in the areas of assessment and program evaluation.

Dr. Simpson has published upwards of 100 journal articles, while also collaborating on over 12 different books.  Due to her extensive research in various educational fields, Dr. Simpson has been able to publish training manuals, scholarly technical papers and multiple book chapters.  Dr. Simpson has received numerous accolades including:

  • 2014 University Minnie Stevens Piper Professor
  • 2013 Texas Educational Diagnostician Association (TEDA) Hall of Honor Award recipient
  • 2009-2010 Teacher Educator Award, Council for Exceptional Children Texas Federation (TCEC)
  • 2009 Wilma Jo Bush Award, Texas Educational Diagnostician Association (TEDA)
  • 2008 Susan Gorin Phillips Award, International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • 2007 Early Childhood News Directors’ Choice Award
  • 2007 Texas Council for Exceptional Children (TCEC), Kathleen Varner Service Award

Her professional responsibilities include serving on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), National Association of Young Children (NAEYC) Review Panel, as well as holding the positions of advisor to the National Certified Educational Diagnostician Board (NCED), and state advisor to the Texas Educational Diagnostician Association (TEDA). She also represents college teachers as the President for Texas Association of College Teachers (TACT).

Dr. Simpson is a leader in developing and mentoring woman into leadership positions throughout the community. She has extensive experience in leadership capacity building, Christian leadership, and strategic planning.  In addition to her research interests in women in leadership, her research agenda also includes the exploration of gender discrepancies and victimization of students with and without disabilities within the bullying dynamic. She also serves as a volunteer to many charitable organizations and has a deep passion for working with individuals with disabilities.  She is a strong advocate of Special Olympics.

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