Dr. Michael K. McLendon is a professor of higher education policy and
leadership and the associate dean at the Simmons School of Education and
Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Prior to his
appointment at SMU, Dr. McLendon served for thirteen years as a
professor of public policy and higher education at Vanderbilt
University, where he also held roles as executive associate dean of
Peabody College of Education and as director of several graduate and
Dr. McLendon's scholarship and teaching focus on governance, finance,
and public policy of higher education. A primary strand of his research
involves analysis of the factors shaping policy change, innovation, and
reform for higher education at both the state and campus levels. Among
his recent studies are ones that examined the determinants of state
adoption of new accountability and financing policies in higher
education; the factors associated with changes in state funding for
public colleges and universities; and, the impacts of new policies and
management practices that have aimed to increase the performance of
postsecondary systems and institutions.
The results of these and of other studies have been published in leading
journals of the fields of educational policy and of higher education
studies, including The Journal of Higher Education, Educational
Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Research in Higher Education, Review of
Higher Education, American Journal of Education, Teachers College
Record, Educational Policy, Journal of Education Finance, and Higher
Education: Handbook of Theory of Research.
Much of his research has been supported by foundations and by public
agencies. He has been as a principal investigator and a lead consultant
on a variety of national studies, including ones funded by the Lumina
Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Association of
Governing Boards of College and Universities. He also consults with
national and state policy organizations, state boards of higher
education, and governors and legislatures.
Dr. McLendon teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on state policy
and politics of higher education, university governance and
administration, and postsecondary education finance. He also has taught
seminars and survey courses on American public policy and on leadership.
He is a recipient of a number of awards from Vanderbilt University in
recognition of outstanding teaching.
Actively involved in several professional associations, Dr. McLendon has
served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Association
for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). Additionally, he serves or has
served on a number of editorial boards, including those of Research in
Higher Education and Review of Higher Education. He is a former
associate editor of Higher Education: Handbook of Theory of Research and
former co-editor of the Politics of Education Yearbook.
Dr. McLendon earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy from the
University of Michigan, an M.S. in higher education from Florida State
University, and a B.A. in political science from Baylor University.
Prior to undertaking doctoral studies, he served as a policy analyst in
the Florida House of Representatives and as a staff member in the United
States Senate, in Washington D.C. In 2007, he was named a distinguished
young alumnus of his undergraduate alma mater.