McLendon Named Hale Endowed Professor, Interim Director of Hale Center for Educational Leadership

Michael McLendon
Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education, has been named The Fred and Edith Hale Endowed Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy and interim director of the Hale Center for Educational Leadership.
May 3, 2017

School of Education leader will continue duties as dean, reestablish Hale Center for “national visibility and regional impact”

WACO, Texas (May 3, 2017) – Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., dean of Baylor University’s School of Education, has been named The Fred and Edith Hale Endowed Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy and interim director of the Hale Center for Educational Leadership. McLendon will continue his duties as dean, said L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost.

“Our Pro Futuris vision calls us to an intentional focus on leadership development, and these existing center and professorship assets, along with Dean McLendon’s national prominence as a scholar and an advisor to states and foundations on leadership and policy in both K-12 and higher education settings, will provide a new pathway for the University to achieve its vision in leadership initiatives,” Jones said.

“I am greatly honored by the opportunities the Hale professorship and directorship of the Hale Center afford me and the School of Education,” McLendon said. “Our nation faces the need to prepare leaders for educational and other societal settings in innovative and more impactful ways. These new roles will enable my colleagues and me to collaborate more closely with sister schools and colleges at Baylor and with partners outside the University who share our Pro Futuris vision for leader development.”

Established in 1991, The Fred and Edith Hale Professorship and Hale Center for Educational Leadership and Policy serve to foster research into educational leadership and translate that research into the preparation of leaders for educational settings from primary and secondary education through higher education.

As the holder of the Hale Professorship, McLendon will convene research symposia around important questions in the study of educational leadership and policy and promote academic partnering between the School of Education and other academic units at Baylor that can serve to strengthen the University’s capabilities for undertaking interdisciplinary scholarship and forming leaders for educational and other settings.

In his role as interim director, McLendon will guide efforts to reestablish the Hale Center, positioning it on a trajectory to achieve national visibility and regional impact. Specific goals during this phase will include establishing an organizational structure that draws on faculty from within the School of Education and beyond to lead key programmatic initiatives, developing an initial research agenda for the center focused around critical issues in educational leadership and policy in the United States and abroad, elevating the center’s visibility externally and across the Baylor campus and procuring extramural sources of funding in support of the center’s mission and its activities.

The 10th dean of Baylor’s School of Education, McLendon has written extensively on educational governance and accountability, leadership, finance and public policy, and taught in these areas at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has been named as one of the nation’s leading university-based academics whose research contributes most substantially to public debates around education. He advises states and national policy organizations, and, as a gubernatorial appointee, has served on blue ribbon commissions on the status and future of K-12 and higher education in Texas and in other states.

Before coming to Baylor in 2015, McLendon held The Harold and Annette Simmons Centennial Endowed 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 13 years as a professor of public policy and higher education.

McLendon earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Baylor, a master’s in higher education from Florida State University and doctorate in higher education policy from the University of Michigan. In 2007, McLendon was recognized by the Baylor Alumni Association as the University’s Outstanding Young Alumnus.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.

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