The Center for Innovation in Higher Education is supported by three staff members and thirteen faculty fellows with varying expertise. The Center for Innovation in Higher Education (CIHE) will serve as the hub of transformative ideas, research and services that reshapes education to be socially responsible and equitable for all. We do so by cultivating intelligent public discourse concerning social/cultural ideas and practices that advance democracy and education, with particular attention to the implications for post-secondary research and innovation.
External advisory board consisting of stakeholders from business, education, policy makers and community leaders.
Core Faculty Fellows
INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FACULTY FELLOW OF EDUCATIONAL EPISTEMOLOGY
Dr. Rose Ylimaki is a Professor and Department Chair in the Educational Leadership and Policies Department and Faculty Fellow in the Center for Innovation in Higher Education. Her research focuses on K-12 curriculum and leadership in persistently underperforming schools, including schools in rural settings with high levels of poverty and traditionally marginalized students.
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
FACULTY FELLOW OF ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Dr. Simone Gause currently serves as Research Associate Director and Faculty Fellow of Organizational Leadership. Her research interest examines the intersection of race and gender within educational leadership and how this may impact organizational effectiveness over time. Specifically, Dr. Gause studies the history of women in education, gendered and culturally relevant leadership, organizational behavior/change within higher education institutions.
FACULTY FELLOW OF LEADERSHIP
PROFESSOR AND DEAN EMERITUS
Dr. Lemuel W. Watson is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies. Dr. Watson is also the former Dean of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. He has previously served as Executive Director of the Center for P–20 Engagement, the Dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University, and as Dean for the division of Academic Support at Heartland College. He is an alumni of the Darla Moore School of Business at USC.
FACULTY FELLOW OF HR AND FINANCE
Dr. Henry Tran is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina's Department of Educational Leadership and Policies who studies issues related to education human resources (HR) and finance. He has published numerous articles on the topics, including several with students. He holds two national HR certifications and sits on the board of advisors for the National Education Finance Conference.
FACULTY FELLOW OF EDUCATIONAL LAW
Dr. Susan C. Bon is a Higher Education Program Coordinator and Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies at the University of South Carolina. For the past twenty years, Dr. Bon has been an active leader in national law and special education related organizations focusing on law and leadership issues in education and special education.
FACULTY FELLOW OF CULTURE AND EDUCATION
Dr. Toby Jenkins is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies at the University of South Carolina. Her work focuses on the utility of culture (contemporary culture, folk culture, and pop culture) as a politic of social survival, a tool of social change, and a transformative space of non-traditional knowledge production. She is also interested in the examination of education as both a space of oppression and liberation. She has authored two books focused on the evolving ideologies of culture, family, and education in contemporary society.
FACULTY FELLOW OF BLACK MALES
Dr. C. Spencer Platt is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Platt has over fifteen years of experience in student affairs, community engagement and academic affairs. Dr. Platt’s research on the black male experience in higher education has been published in the Journal of College Student Development, the Journal of Advanced Academics and he has co-edited a book titled Boyhood to Manhood: Deconstructing Masculinity through a life Span Continuum. He has presented his academic work on Black Males in Education at national and international conferences.
FACULTY FELLOW OF ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP
Dr. Suzy Hardie currently analyzes how to effectively equip and retain quality principals in low socio-economic school districts in South Carolina. She examines how some school leaders can overcome present socio-economic, regional, and racial disparities. Dr. Hardie specializes in developing partnerships with local school districts.
FACULTY FELLOW OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Dr. Douglas Smith is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration, Director of the Community College Leadership Alliance, and Faculty Fellow in the Center for Innovation in Higher Education at the University of South Carolina. His research is focused on community college leadership, ethics, accountability, and planning. He is also interested in rural education, the role of community colleges in rural communities, community college partnerships, and issues of access and equity in higher education.
FACULTY FELLOW OF MULTICULTURAL ART EDUCATION
Dr. Minuette B. Floyd is a professor of Art Education and Director of the Young Artist’s Workshop at the University of South Carolina in the School of Visual Art and Design. Her work focuses on K-12 art curriculum related to multiculturalism, diversity, and interdisciplinary connections. She is also interested in folk art traditions. USC Press will publish her book on African-American camp meetings fall 2018.
FACULTY FELLOW OF THE HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Dr. Christian K. Anderson is associate professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies at the University of South Carolina. He joined the faculty in 2007 after earning his Ph.D. at Penn State University. His primary research interests include the history of higher education, international higher education, and higher education in popular culture. He previously served as assistant dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Utah. Dr. Anderson is editor of Perspectives on the History of Higher Education.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICIES
Prior to her doctoral studies at the University of Iowa, Dr. Kathleen Cunningham was a middle school teacher in Wisconsin. After earning her Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies, she served as a postdoctoral research associate for the University Council for Educational Administration at the University of Virginia. Her research includes school leadership preparation, improvement science, content specific leadership, and program evaluation. She also became a David L. Clark scholar in 2016, contributing publications to the Educational Administration Quarterly, among other scholarly journals.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF EDUCATIONAL HISTORY
Dr. Jon Hale’s research focuses on the history of student and teacher activism and educational resistance during the civil rights movement. His book, The Freedom Schools: A History of Student Activists on the Frontlines of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (Columbia University Press, 2016) was awarded the American Educational Research Association New Scholars Book Award, the American Educational Studies Critics Choice Book Award, and the runner-up book award from the International Standing Conference for the History of Education. Hale is a co-editor of The Freedom School Newspapers: Writings, Essays and Reports from Student Activists During the Civil Rights Movement (University Press of Mississippi, 2015).
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICIES
Daniel Spikes’s research focuses on racial disparities in educational outcomes and the policies and practices of school districts, schools, and school leaders that serve to perpetuate and/or ameliorate these disparities. He also focuses on the professional development of adult learners on cultural proficiency and/or anti-racism and how this development contributes to the improvement of racial outcomes.
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policies
Dr. Davíd G. Martínez is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policies. Davíd’s research focuses on the intersection of Education Fiscal Policy and Equity of Educational Opportunity. Specifically, he examines the impact of federal, state, and local fiscal policy on inter/ intra-district fiscal capacity in low-income, ethnically and linguistically diverse, marginalized, LatínX and Native American communities through the lens of Social Justice and the Economics of Education. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina Davíd worked as an advocate, researcher, and educator. Davíd earned his doctorate from Arizona State University, under the mentorship of Professors David C. Berliner, Margarita Pivovarova, and Sherman Dorn.
Assistant Faculty Fellows
Executive Director (Rose Ylimaki) – The executive officer responsible for the intellectual and administrative leadership of the research center/institute including strategic vision and management. Recommends individual and joint appointments to the research center/institute, in consultation with the management of relevant units.
Associate Directors (Simone Gause, Spencer Platt) – Responsible for management and operations of the research center/institute, including budget, strategic planning implementation, programs, personnel, and facilities; manages the resources of the research center/institute. Responsible for reports required by external agencies or sponsors.