Executive Vice President and Provost

Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., was appointed by President Livingstone as interim provost of Baylor University, effective July 1, 2017, placing on hold his service as the tenth dean of Baylor’s School of Education. As interim provost, Dr. McLendon is the chief academic officer of the University and is responsible for all aspects of the University’s diverse academic mission, including teaching and learning, research and scholarship and service and outreach. He provides oversight and strategic direction for Baylor’s 17,000 students, 1,000 faculty, 12 academic schools and colleges and the Baylor Library system. Dr. McLendon has been charged with leading the formation of a strategic academic plan to further the University’s development consistent with its ProFuturis vision and is responsible for executing strategies for the attainment of the University’s mission, including the deployment of financial resources in support of academic priorities.

Dr. McLendon earned his B.A. in political science from Baylor in 1991, returning in 2015 as dean of the School of Education. Prior to his return, he held the Harold and Annette Simmons Centennial Chair and served as the academic associate dean at Southern Methodist University’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development, whose faculty he joined in 2012. Previously, Dr. McLendon was the executive associate 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.

In addition to his role as interim provost, Dr. McLendon continues to serve as the Fred and Edith Hale Endowed Professor of Higher Education Policy and Leadership. He is widely published in leading research journals on the topics of governance and management, finance, politics and public policy as these relate to higher education both in the U.S. and internationally. His multidisciplinary scholarship often draws on the fields of political science, public administration and organizational behavior in predicting or explaining the policy adoptive behavior of state governments in the arena of higher education. Additionally, 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, and has advised governors, legislatures and national and state policy organizations on issues ranging from college costs and student success to ways of improving board and institutional effectiveness.

Dr. McLendon continues to teach undergraduate and graduate courses on American public policy, education politics and policy, college and university governance, finance of higher education and leadership. He received a number of awards while at Vanderbilt University, from 1999-2012, in recognition of outstanding teaching and mentoring at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

A seventh generation Texan, hailing from Corpus Christi, Dr. McLendon earned his Ph.D. in higher education policy from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in higher education from Florida State University. He received Baylor’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 2007. Early in his career he served as an aide to a member of the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., and as a policy analyst with the Higher Education Committee of the Florida House of Representatives.

He and his wife, Kathy Coleman McLendon – a Baylor Business School graduate, are parents to three energetic children, who attend area public schools.

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