Department of Education Policy & Leadership

Michael Harris

Associate Professor & Director for Center of Teaching Excellence

Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
3101 University Blvd, Ste.345,
Dallas, 75205
Box 750114
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Michael S. Harris is an associate professor of higher education and director of SMU's Center for Teaching Excellence. His scholarly interests are in public policy and the organization of public higher education. He is currently exploring the issue of institutional diversity and the interplay between market forces, government involvement, and higher education. Harris published a monograph on the subject entitled, “Understanding Institutional Diversity in American Higher Education.”  

His work has been published in the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Innovative Higher Education, Planning for Higher Education, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Trusteeship, and reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Harris currently serves as a Member-at-large of Division J (Postsecondary) within the American Educational Research Association. He serves on the advisory board of the ASHE monograph series and reviews for the Journal of Higher Education, Routledge, Innovative Higher Education, Education Policy Analysis Archives, International Journal of Management in Education, and other leading journals as well as the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).

He holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina in American History, a M.Ed. and Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in higher education administration. In 2004, he received the AERA Division J Dissertation of the Year award.



Harris, M.S. (2013). Understanding institutional diversity in American higher education. ASHE Higher Education Report, 39(3). San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass. 


Dupaul, S. & Harris, M.S. (2012). Secret shoppers:  The stealth applicant search for higher education.  Journal of College Admission, 215, 8-16. PDF

Harris, M.S. & Hartley, M. (2011). Witch-hunting at Crucible University:  The power and peril of competing organizational ideologies.  The Journal of Higher Education, 82(6), 691-719. PDF

Harris, M.S. & Barnes, B. (2011). Branding access through the Carolina Covenant:  Fostering institutional image and brand.  Journal of Student Financial Aid, 41(2), 36-46. PDF

Harris, M.S. (2009). Message in a bottle:  University advertising during bowl games.  Innovative Higher Education, 33(5), 285-296. PDF

Bourke, B., Major, C.H., & Harris, M.S. (2009). Building the public perception of community college learners:  Fictional portrayals of two-year college students.  The Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 33(1), 55-69. PDF

Bray, N.J., Harris, M.S., & Major, C.H. (2007). New verse or the same old chorus?  Lessons from distance education.  Research in Higher Education. 48(7), 889-908. PDF