Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Photo of Kathleen Brown

Brown, Kathleen

Professor of Educational Leadership

T: 919.962.4435
F: 919.962.1693
120 Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“Good teachers join self, subject and students in the fabric of life because they teach from an integral and undivided self; they manifest in their own lives, and evoke in their students, a ‘capacity for connectedness.’”

– Parker Palmer


Kathleen M. Brown brings 15 years of teaching and administrative experience to the professoriate, having served as a middle school teacher and elementary and middle school principal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey.

Brown promotes effective, site-based servant leadership that connects theory, practice and issues of social justice to break down walls and build a unified profession of culturally aware educators working toward equitable schooling for all. She approaches education from an ethic of social care and works personally and professionally toward changing the metaphor of schools from hierarchical bureaucracies to nurturing communities. She is committed to fostering a more humane, more responsive and much less technocratic approach to educational leadership.

A skilled methodologist, Brown conducts well-crafted empirical studies that employ intensive interviewing and/or case study techniques triangulated with survey, observation and/or document analysis data.

By focusing her attention more squarely on the expansion of theoretical bases, Kathleen Brown is working on an original, creative and interdisciplinary research process in the field of educational leadership. The struggle for social justice in schools has become clearer in her research as she has sought greater understanding and solutions to a range of equity issues. This theoretical piece represents adult learning theory, transformative learning theory and critical social theory. While many agree that theory, research and practice should be intertwined to support the type of schooling few scholars offer ground-breaking, pragmatic approaches to developing truly transformative leaders. From a critical theorist perspective, her research offers a practical, process-oriented model responsive to the challenges of preparing educational leaders committed to social justice and equity.

Educational Background

  • Ed.D. 1999 - Temple University, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • M.A. 1995 - Rowan University, Educational Administration
  • B.A. 1989 - Immaculata College, Psychology and Theology with an Elementary Education Concentration

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in Education - Policy, Leadership and School Improvement

Ed.D in Educational Leadership

Research Interests

  • Social Justice and Equity
  • Diversity and Cross-Cultural Understanding
  • Principal Preparation Programs
  • Social Foundations
  • Middle Schools

Teaching Areas

  • Educational Leadership
  • School Administration


  • EDUC 633: The Social Context of Educational Leadership
  • EDUC 736: Internship in Educational Administration I
  • EDUC 738: Internship in Educational Administration II

Honors & Awards

  • Nominated for “The One” Marketing Campaign by Capstrat (2010)
  • Elected to Executive Committee (EC) of UCEA (2007-2010)
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award for EAQ Journal (2007-2008)
  • Nominated for Associate Editor of EAQ with Lehigh University Proposal (2009)
  • Nominated for Faculty Mentoring Award (2009), Carolina Women's Leadership Council
  • Leadership and Policy in Schools (LPS) Editorial Board (2008-Present)
  • Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ) Editorial Board (2005-Present)
  • Area Chair (January 2005-Present) - Improved Ranking from 22nd to 10th in US

Funded Research

  • Principal Evaluator for Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy (PTLA) – US Department of Ed School Leadership Program Grant (SLP) [$5 million over 5 years] (Under Review)
  • Qualitative Leader/Co-Investigator for the NC Race to the Top (RttT) Evaluation grant with Gary Henry, Charles Thompson, and NCCERE (SERVE, CIPP, and Friday Institute) [$9 million over 4 years]
    • Regional Leadership Academies (Increase principal effectiveness)
    • District Transformation Teams (DST) (Turnaround low-achieving schools)
  • Brown, K. (2012). Regional Leadership Academies, Year 1 Report. Consortium for Educational Research and Evaluation, North Carolina. NC DPI and NC BOE.
  • Hall, A., Brown, K., Smith, M. (2012). Regional Leadership Academies (RLA) Cost-Effectiveness Framework. Consortium for Educational Research and Evaluation, North Carolina. NC DPI and NC BOE.
  • Thompson, C., Brown, K., Townsend, P., Henry, G. & Fortner, K. (2011). Turning Around North Carolina’s Lowest-Achieving Schools. NC Department of Public Instruction and NC BOE.
  • Principal Facilitator of Strategic Planning – James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership & Policy, Spring 2013 [$10,000 over 3 months]
  • Co-PI for IES Collaborative Partnership grant. Durham Public Schools/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Research Partnership. (Not Funded)
  • Co-Leader and Qualitative Investigator for NC Team – I3 Innovation Validation grant. U.S. Department of Education [$30 million over 4 years and 3 states – not funded]
  • Co-Principal Investigator – RTTT and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Principal Leadership Academy Working Group, Summer 2009 to Present [$250,000 over 3 years]
  • Co-Principal Investigator and Evaluator – James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership & Policy, Fall 2008 to Spring 2010 [$150,000 over 3 years]
  • Co-Principal Investigator/Qualitative Team Leader – High School Resource Allocation Project with Gary Henry. NC Department of Education. [$300,000, 12 months]
  • Henry, G., Thompson, C., Kanz, K., Brown, K., & Cunningham, E. (2007). High School Resource Allocation Report. NC Department of Public Instruction.
  • Thompson, C., Brown, K., Cunningham, E., & Montrosee, B. (2007). Leadership, Organizational Characteristics, and Performance in North Carolina High Schools. NC State Department of Education.
  • Chair of the Education Enhancement Review Panel for the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund [$25 to 30 million to state colleges and universities – Spring 2008]

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of University Women
  • American Education Research Association
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • National Coalition Building Institute Diversity Leadership Team
  • National Middle School Association
  • North Carolina Association of School Administrators
  • North Carolina Professors of Educational Leadership
  • Temple Educational Research Association
  • University Council for Educational Administration

Public Service

  • Coordinator of Educational Leadership, July 2013-Present
  • Reviewer - North Carolina Quest Proposals, Fall 2013
  • Chair - Educational Leadership Program, Jan 2005-Jun 2012
  • Member - SOE Strategic Direction Metrics Subcommittee, 2013-Present
  • Guest Speaker - Families, Schools and Community Course at UNC, 2013
  • Elected Member - Post-Tenure Review Committee, 2012-2014
  • Member - Senior Faculty Tenure Review Subcommittee for Dr. Dana Griffin
  • Executive Member - SOE Faculty Executive Council, 2011-2012
  • Chair/FCC Liasion - SPE Travel Committee, 2011-2012
  • Member - Search Committee for Lead Evaluator, Public Policy, 2011
  • Represented UNC-GA at the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) Annual Leadership Forum, Atlanta, GA, May 2011
  • Presenter - SOE Alumni Awards Luncheon, 2011
  • Presenter - EDUC 990 Seminar, October 2010 and 2011
  • Member - RTSP Advisory Board, 2010-2011
  • Speaker-Panelist - WCHL Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Orange County Forum, 2010
  • Member - Advisory Board for UNC's First School
  • Presenter - SOE Annual GSA Research Symposium, Jan 2010
  • Member - SOE Seed Grant Committee, 2009-2010
  • External Reviewer for Tenure and Promotion (7 colleagues nationwide), 2010-Present
  • Presenter - NC State Board of Education (SBE) and Department of Education (DPI), 2013
  • Presenter to REL Appalacia regarding School and Teacher Leadership, 2012
  • Board of Directors - Augustine Literacy Project, 2013-Present
  • Member - NTL Research COP Steering Committee, 2012-Present
  • Member - UCEA Executive Committee, 2007-2010
  • Presenter - Issues of Diversity, Duke University Educational Program, 2006-Present

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Walston, B., Proto, B., Brown, K., (2013). Turning Around North Carolina Elementary Schools: Lessons Learned from the Process of Improvement. The Journal of Education Policy, Planning and Administration, 2(2), 19-37.
Townsend, L., & Brown, K. (Winter 2013). Turning Around North Carolina Middle Schools: Lessons Learned from the Process of Improvement. North Carolina Middle School Journal, 27(1), 1-15.
Brown, K., Benkovitz, J., Mutillo, A.J., & Urban, T. (2011). Leading Schools of Excellence and Equity: Documenting Effective Strategies in Closing Achievement Gaps. Teachers College Record, 113(1), 57-96.
Watson, T., & Brown, K. (2011). A Public Relations Nightmare: ACLU Class Action Lawsuit Exposes Inaccurate and Inequitable High School Graduation Rates. Journal of Public Relations, 31(4), 342-357.
Brown, K. (2010). Preparing School leaders to Serve as Agents for Social Transformation. Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, 4(4), 349-352.
Brown, K. (2010). Schools of Excellence AND Equity? Using Equity Audits as a Tool to Expose a Flawed System of Recognition. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 5(5), 1-12.
Brown, K. (2013). Preparing Turnaround Principals: North Carolina’s Regional Leadership Academies. The Intersection. February 13, 2013.


Marshall, J., Brooks, J., Brown, K., Bussey, L., Fusarelli, B., Gooden, M., Lugg, C., Reed, L., & Theoharis, G. (Eds.). (2012). Juggling Flaming Chainsaws: Academics in Educational Leadership Try to Balance Work and Family. IAP-Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Brown, K., Benkovitz, J., Mutillo, A.J., & Urban, T.  (In Press, 2010). Leading Schools of Excellence and Equity: Closing Achievement Gaps Via Academic Optimism. (Exploring Best Practices and Documenting Effective Strategies). Information Age Publishing (ERS). (156 pages)

Brown, K., (2008). Preparing Future Leaders for Social Justice, Equity, and Excellence: Bridging Theory and Practice through a Transformative Andragogy. Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc. (School Leadership Series) (250 pages)

Roney, K., Anfara, V., & Brown, K. (2008). Creating Organizationally Healthy and Effective Middle Schools: Research the Supports the Middle School Concept and Student Achievement. National Middle School Association. (224 pages)

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