Keith Gurley, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor - Educational Leadership
I teach a variety of graduate-level courses in educational/school leadership. In my courses, I enjoy helping students explore the practice and power of leadership in organizations in general, and in schools specifically. Together we examine various approaches to and theories of leadership in order to develop a sense of our own individual leadership styles and skills and how best to apply those effectively in a school setting.
Over the years, I have explored leadership in schools in a variety of contexts. Most recently, I have examined school leaders' awareness of organizational mission, vision, values, and goals, and explored the impact these statements have on their daily practice as school leaders. I am also especially interested in the unsung and often neglected role of the assistant principal in our schools. The assistant principal's role is vital to the success of schools in terms of managerial leadership. But, in what ways can assistant principals increase their role in improving instruction and student achievement? How can we expand the role of assistant principals to ensure that this position is an authentic and powerful training ground for strong instructional leaders?
I have made presentations to school faculty groups and to various school leaders regarding the elements and implementation of Professional Learning Communities, especially as they relate to key organizational statements (mission, vision, values, and goals) in strategic planning and school improvement. I also serve on the editorial board of the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences Journal.
I am a bit of a political news junkie, enjoy reading broadly, and traveling across the U.S. and the world. My work is my passion. I love teaching and helping others discover the leader within! When I learned as a young man that the word "educate" means, literally, "to draw out from within," I knew I was destined to be an educator all of my life! Nothing is more rewarding to me than watching a student develop in confidence and competence as they increase their understanding of themselves, of our world, and of how they can lead in making our schools and communities better.