Texas Tech University

Robin H. Lock, Ph.D.

Interim Dean
Professor of Special Education program

Email: robin.lock@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-3976

Robin H. Lock, Ph.D. has served as Interim Dean of the College of Education since December 2018 and is a professor in the College's Special Education program.

Her experiences building external partnerships and establishing The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research have led Dr. Lock to truly value the collaboration between the university, schools and the business community as a way to change the direction of public school education. 

After Scott Ridley's passing in October 2018 she became the principal investigator for East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (ELPN), a multi-institutional community engagement project to provide East Lubbock residents a continuum of “cradle to career” support, including educational programs, family and community services and school transformation. The project is funded by a $25 million U.S. Department of Education grant, the largest grant in Texas Tech University history.

For its work with East Lubbock, Texas Tech was recently named one of four regional winners of the 2018 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. 

In addition, Dr. Lock has garnered over $5 million in external funding – including private donations, foundation grants, state grants and federal funding – for work with individuals with disabilities, young people in the foster care system and other community engagement initiatives.

Her research interests revolve around postsecondary educational opportunities for students with disabilities as well as those being served in the foster care system. She has over 58 publications, including a book, “Assessing Students with Special Needs to Produce Quality Outcomes.”

Dr. Lock has been at Texas Tech since 1996 and has previously served as associate dean and vice dean in the College of Education and director of the Burkhart Center, which provides services and community outreach to support individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families.

Prior to joining Texas Tech, she served as undergraduate coordinator for Special Education Teacher Preparation at The University of Texas at Austin. Her career has also included working as a special education teacher in first through sixth grade classrooms and as an education consultant.

Robin Lock


  • Ph.D.,1985 The University of Texas at Austin- Learning Disabilities
  • M.Ed.,1981 The University of Texas at Austin- Special Education
  • B. S.,1976 The University of Texas at Austin- Elementary Education and Mental Retardation

Areas of Expertise

  • Transition to adulthood for individuals with disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual, and learning disabilities,
  • Family issues in dealing with disabilities including autism spectrum disorders
  • Educator preparation for children with disabilities including the area of learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, emotional and behavior disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. 

Selected Publications

Gaines, K., Curry, Z., Shroyer, J., Amor, C., and Lock, R.H. (2014).  The perceived effects of classroom design and features on students with autism spectrum disorders.  Journal of Architectural Planning and Research, 31(4).

Lock, R.H., Hendricks, C.B., & Finstein, R. (2013).  Evaluating the success of a parent-professional autism network: Implications for family counselors.  The Family Journal, 21(3), p. 288-296.

Lock, R.H., Brown, D., Brendle, J., and Chestnut Lam, Pik Wah (2013).  Combining positive behavior supports and social skill programming for transition success.  Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Journal, 9(1), p. 13-29.

Dogoe, B.S., Banda, D.R., Lock, R.H., & Finstein, R. (2011). Teaching generalized reading of product warning labels to young adults with autism using the constant time delay procedure. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 46, p. 204-213.

Bradley, L., Hendricks, C.B., & Lock, R.H., Whiting, P., Parr, G. (2011).  Email issues for mental health counselors.  Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 33(1), p. 67-79.  

Lock, R.H., Hendricks, C.B., Bradley, L.J., & Layton, C.A. (2010).  Using family leisure activities to support families living with autism spectrum disorders.  The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 49(2), p. 163-180.

Dogoe, B.S., Banda, D.R., & Lock, R.H. (2010).  Acquisition and generalization of the picture exchange communication system behaviors across settings, persons, and stimulus classes with three students with autism.  Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 45, p. 216‑229.

Lock, R.H., & Finstein, R. (2009).  Examining the need for autism sibling support groups in rural areas.  Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28(4), p. 21-30. 

Lock, R.H., & Layton, C.A. (2008).  The impact of tutoring attendance on the GPAs of postsecondary students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 15(2), p. 55-60.


Dr. Lock maintains an active service agenda including:

  • State of Texas Special Education Continuing Advisory Council, appointed by the Governor of Texas
  • Special Education Information Center (SpedTex) State Advisory Board
  • Learning Outcomes Project Education (EDUC/TECA) faculty workgroup for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Editorial review boards for Intervention in School and Clinic, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, and the National Academic Advising Association