In Memoriam: Lee Vernon Stiff, 1949-2021

Lee Vernon Stiff, professor emeritus of mathematics education at North Carolina State University, died on March 19. He was 72 years old.

Dr. Stiff was a native of Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in mathematics. He earned master’s degrees in mathematics at Duke University and Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Stiff began his academic career on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 1983, he joined the faculty of mathematics and science education at North Carolina State University. During his tenure at North Carolina State, Dr. Stiff moved through the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor of mathematics education. At the time of his retirement in 2020, Dr. Stiff was the associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Education at the university.

From 2000 to 2002, Dr. Stiffe served as the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He was co-founder and president of EDSTAR Analytics, Inc., a consulting firm that aids school districts in using data-driven decision models to improve student success and teacher effectiveness.

“Dr. Stiff was one of the most equity-minded and fair-minded people I had ever met, and he saw the best in us all,” said College of Education Dean Mary Ann Danowitz. “He also had a wonderful sense of humor, a delightful laugh, and a huge smile. He was a good friend, teacher, and colleague who took the time to mentor many students and faculty, especially junior faculty. His passing will be felt very deeply and personally by not only this college and NC State but by the entire field of education.”

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