Mike Dishman promoted to dean of The Graduate College

Mike Dishman
Mike Dishman


Education law and policy expert has served in several leadership roles at Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. (Apr 1, 2017) — Kennesaw State University has named Mike Dishman as dean of The Graduate College and associate vice president for research policy and compliance, effective April 1.

Dishman, a professor of education policy and governance at Kennesaw State, had been the interim dean of The Graduate College since 2015. He previously served as associate dean of The Graduate College, the graduate program coordinator of the Master of Education in Educational Leadership, and the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership.

“Following a national search, we recognized that the best candidate for dean of The Graduate College already was here at Kennesaw State,” said Ken Harmon, provost and vice president for academic affairs at KSU. “Dr. Dishman has demonstrated that he is an impressive leader and a devoted educator. I am confident that he will build on the accomplishments he has made here and take The Graduate College to new heights.”

During Dishman’s three-year tenure as chair, enrollment in the Department of Educational Leadership’s graduate programs increased approximately 300 percent. In 2014, Dishman became the first associate dean of The Graduate College, responsible for graduate faculty, policy and curriculum.

As associate dean, Dishman led graduate initiatives relating to Kennesaw State’s consolidation with Southern Polytechnic State University, including the review of 26 graduate programs. As interim dean, he oversaw several new initiatives in The Graduate College, including significantly expanding the graduate faculty’s role in curricular and policy matters, implementing new standards for graduate program review and approval, increasing resources and support for graduate programs, revising the University graduate assistantship process, and the consolidated University’s first holistic review and revision of graduate policy.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve the graduate faculty, students and larger community of Kennesaw State University,” Dishman said. “Being invited to serve in an academic leadership role is a tremendous honor for any professor, but particularly so at a University one truly believes is exceptional.”

A recognized scholar and practitioner in education law and policy, Dishman served as an assistant professor of education law and ethics at the University of Alaska and associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Kennesaw State University. In 2011, he was promoted to professor and awarded tenure.

Dishman holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Mississippi and a Doctor of Education in Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University. He has co-authored six books on education law, policy and leadership.

One of his books, Leading Schools During Crisis, was selected by the American Association of School Administrators as one of seven 2009 publications meriting an “author discussion session” at the 2010 National Conference on Education and led to Dishman serving on the association’s publications review board. He also served on the editorial review board of the Peabody Journal of Education, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journals in education, and as an education policy content reviewer for Rowman & Littlefield Education.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu