Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., is the tenth Dean of Baylor University’s School of Education. He also serves as the Fred and Edith Hale Endowed Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy. A leading expert on higher education, he has written extensively on postsecondary governance, finance and policy. Dr. McLendon has been named as one of the nation’s leading university-based academics whose research contributes most substantially to public debates around education in the U.S. He advises governors, legislatures and national and state organizations on topics ranging from college costs, state funding and governance to ways of improving student success, institutional effectiveness and accountability in higher education.
Before coming to Baylor in 2015, Dr. McLendon held the Harold and Annette Simmons Endowed Centennial Chair and served as the academic associate dean at Southern Methodist University’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Previously, he was the executive associate dean, undergraduate dean and chief of staff at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, on whose faculty he served for thirteen years as a professor of public policy and higher education. Dr. McLendon currently holds appointments as a Senior Fellow at SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Affairs and as a Faculty Fellow with the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.
An award-winning instructor, Dr. McLendon continues teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on education politics and policy, college and university governance, leadership and higher education finance. He has served on the board of directors of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and as a consulting or associate editor of Research in Higher Education, Review of Higher Education and Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research.
A seventh generation Texan, 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. He received Baylor’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 2007. His early professional experiences include having served as an aide to a member of the United States Senate and as a policy analyst with the Higher Education Committee of the Florida House of Representatives.
He and his wife are parents to three energetic children, who attend area public schools.