COE: Kathleen S. Brown
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Kathleen Sullivan Brown, Ph.D., is Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. As a tenured faculty member, she holds the rank of Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Dr. Brown earned a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Washington University in 1995. She has also served as a Fellow of the Public Policy Research Center and Center for International Studies at UMSL. She teaches graduate level foundations courses in the social, economic and political contexts of education. She assists in the preparation of community leaders including school principals and superintendents, and she mentors doctoral students in pursuing their research projects.  Dr. Brown has chaired more than a dozen successful dissertations. 

Dr. Brown studies educational policies and practices, especially those involving state and national reform agendas, both in historic and contemporary perspectives; this means she is often studying controversial and highly politicized topics such as charter schools and school funding. She has authored or collaborated on over thirty-five research studies, articles, book chapters, and monographs. She has presented over fifty papers and scholarly presentations at state, national and international professional meetings. Her educational research interests are broad, in part because of her background in sociology, psychology, political science, and economics. Dr. Brown’s undergraduate and Master’s degree focused on Urban Studies, an interdisciplinary program at Washington University, where she was a Danforth St. Louis Metropolitan Fellow from 1973-1977.

Before coming to UM St. Louis, she was a Planning Research Analyst, conducting community surveys and designing action plans for low-income housing, recreation, historic preservation and other economic development projects in the St. Louis bi-state metropolitan area, for the agency now known as the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. She also served for two years as Director of Teacher Professional Development for the Cooperating School Districts, a 50-member association of St. Louis area school districts, where she directed the St. Louis Teachers Academy.

From 1999-2005, Dr. Brown served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Holmes Partnership, a national consortium of universities and schools dedicated to education reform, whose signature achievement was the creation of the national Holmes Scholars network, a mentoring process dedicated to increasing the diversity of the professoriate. From 2008-2010, Dr. Brown served as Visiting Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Executive Director of the Illinois Education Research Council, where she directed research and assisted in the development of state education policies.