Preparing Educators as Leaders

Susan B. Twombly

School of Education - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Primary office:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Room 418
University of Kansas
1122 West Campus Rd
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101


Susan B. Twombly is professor of higher education and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Her PhD is in Higher Education from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include postsecondary faculty member's careers, international higher education, and community colleges. She teaches courses in qualitative research, program evaluation and assessment in higher education and postsecondary curriculum. She and her colleagues have recently completed and published several articles on foreign-born faculty members working at US colleges and universities. She is lead author on a recently published monograph entitled Study Abroad in a New Global Century. Dr. Twombly is chairing the University of Kansas self-study for HLC reaccreditation.

Related Information:

Program Affiliation:


Ph.D., Higher Education, The Pennsylvania State University

M.S., Counseling and Guidance, State University of New York College at Plattsburgh

B.A., History, Susquehanna University



ELPS 871: Introduction to Qualitative Research

ELPS 885: Assessment and Program Evaluation in Higher Education

ELPS 983: Curriculum and Innovation in Higher Education

Research Interests

  • Postsecondary faculty, including community college and international faculty
  • Women in higher education
  • Higher education in Latin America
  • Assessment and accreditation

Selected Publications

Twombly, S. B. (2015). "Lift the Chorus Ever Onward": Leading the University. In J. L. Rury & K. Cary Warren (Eds.), Transforming the University of Kansas: A History, 1965-2015. University Press of Kansas.

Bean, A. & Twombly, S. B. (2015). Undergraduate Research and Study Abroad: Lessons from an NSF Partnership in Research and Education (PIRE) Grant. CURQ on the Web, 36(2), 9-19.

Kim, D. Wolf-Wendel, L. & Twombly, S. (2013). The role of citizenship status in intent to leave for pre-tenured faculty. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 6(4), 245-260. DOI:10.1037/a0034719

Kim, D. Twombly, S. & Wolf-Wendel, L. E. (2012). International faculty in American universities: Experiences of academic life, productivity, and career mobility. In Y. J Xu (Ed.), Refine the Focus on University Faculty: The Interplay of Diversity, Time, and Methodology(155th ed.) (Vol. 2012, pp. 27-44). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley. DOI:10.1002/lr.20020

Twombly, S. B., Salisbury, M. H., Tumanut, S. D., & Klute, P. (2012). Study Abroad in a New Global Century: Renewing the Promise, Refining the Purpose, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 149.

Kim, D. Twombly, S. B., & Wolf-Wendel, L. E. (2011). International faculty: Experiences of academic life and productivity in US universities. Journal of Higher Education, 82(6), 720-747.

Twombly, S. B. (2010). Mission drift II. For 21st Century Scholars Blog Current Issues in Higher Education.

Kim, D. Twombly, S. B., & Wolf-Wendel, L. E. (2008). Factors predicting community college faculty satisfaction with instructional autonomy. Community College Review, 35(3), 159-180.

Townsend, B. K., & Twombly, S. B. (2007). Accidental equity: The status of women in the community college. Equity and Excellence in Education, 40(3), 208-217.

Baker, B. D., Wolf-Wendel, L. E., & Twombly, S. B. (2007). Exploring the Faculty Pipeline in Educational Administration: Evidence from the Survey of Earned Doctorates 1990 to 2000. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43 (2), 189-220.

Selected Awards & Honors

Higher Learning Commission Peer Evaluation Corps

Fulbright Scholar
1995 - Present

Vice President
AERA Division J.
2007 - 2010

University Senate President
University of Kansas
2004 - 2005

To learn more about our Educational Leadership & Policy Studies faculty, click here.

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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