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ELPS Faculty and Staff

About ELPS

Welcome to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  For over 60 years, ELPS has prepared both K-12 and higher education administrators, policy scholars and analysts, and faculty members to become innovative and courageous leaders through rigorous research that influences both policy and practice.  We offer graduate programs in both Educational Administration (PreK-12) and Higher Education Administration.  These include a principal licensing certificate; MS in Educational Administration or College Student Personnel; EdS in Educational Administration; EdD in Educational Leadership; and PhD’s in Higher Education Administration or Educational Administration with a concentration in Leadership.

In addition to our graduate programs, we have three centers that include the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), the Postsecondary Education Research Center (PERC), and the College Access and Persistence Services (CAPS) Outreach Center.


J. Patrick Biddix, PhD
Interim Department Head

The Department views leaders as stewards and servants of organizations; designers of the social and cultural climate in which they work; teachers who facilitate and encourage human growth and development; change agents who continually examine the purpose and performance of their organizations; and conceptual provocateurs who challenge ideas and assumptions on which policy and practice are built.

The Department will be nationally recognized for graduating outstanding, innovative, and courageous leaders and for producing significant educational research that influences policy and practice.


The core values which are embedded in all components of the work of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department include:

  • Civility – Affirming the power of human dignity and diversity
  • Candor – Respecting the power of public forum and the role of dissent and debate
  • Courage – Acting on conviction and linking belief to action
  • Responsibility – Accepting care for one’s actions and decisions
  • Compassion – Caring for person and principle and hold high expectations
  • Community – Respecting diversity while developing an agenda of common caring
  • Persistence – Accenting long-range goals and staying the course in face of hardship
  • Service – Placing the welfare and promise of others before self
  • Excellence – Calling individuals and organizations to high standards of performance
  • Justice – Ensuring equity in opportunity and recognition


Download the ELPS Bylaws