About Us


Organizational History

An Introduction to UCEA

The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) is a nonprofit corporation whose members are major research universities in the United States, Australia and Hong Kong.


The professional beginning for educational administration began in 1947 under the guidance of Walter Cocking, editor of The School Executive and E. B. Norton, professor of educational administration at Teachers College Columbia, with the founding of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA). The formation of the Cooperative Program in education administration (CPEA) by 1955 had 30 institutions receive grants to advance the study of school administration.

In 1954, members of the Cooperative Program in Educational Administration (Middle Atlantic Region) proposed an organization which would be devoted to improving the professional preparation of educational administrators. To help establish such an organization, a central office with part-time staff was established on the campus of Columbia University, financed by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to Teachers College Columbia.

Between 1956 and 1959, with the help of the staff at the Teachers College office, UCEA’s constitution and by-laws were formulated, the organization’s purposes were defined, and additional financial support was obtained in the form of a five-year grant from the Kellogg Foundation. The organization was officially founded in 1959 and the UCEA central office moved to The Ohio State University when a small, full-time staff was hired. In 1984 the central office was moved to Arizona State University, and in 1991, to The Pennsylvania State University. From 1996-2006, the central office was located at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and from 2006-2011 UCEA headquarters was hosted by the University of Teas at Austin.  The consortium is now headquartered on the beautiful grounds of the University of Virginia, and it will remain there through 2021.

Since its inception, the Council has worked to improve the professional preparation of administrative personnel in both continuing education and pre-service programs. UCEA has been a major contributor to:

  • Broadening the content of preparation programs for educational administrators,
  • Extending the use of more effective methods of inquiry in educational administration,
  • Shifting educational administration from an anecdotal orientation to a more scientific one, leading to generalizations about organization and leadership,
  • Developing new instructional materials for administrator programs,
  • Fostering exchanges in research and in program development between professors and administrative leaders in the U.S. and their counterparts in other countries, and
  • Setting standards of excellence in research and the preparation of educational leaders.

UCEA’s Early Years:
Jack Culbertson (UCEA), Glenn Immegart (UCEA) & Truman Pierce (Auburn University) discuss UCEA’s Five-Year Plan, 1962

More recently, the Council also has focused considerable attention on developing program evaluation tools that can be used to support both candidate learning and continuous program improvement. The INSPIRE Leadership Suite of surveys is now used by UCEA institutions and other organizations that prepare leaders to evaluate program quality. The consortium is also focused on strengthening relationships among higher education leadership departments and the school districts and other agencies in which educational leaders eventually serve. These efforts are intended to enhance to preparation experience and develop what John Goodlad referred to as “mutually beneficial partnerships.”


With the expiration in 1969 of a second five-year grant from the Kellogg Foundation, UCEA has been supported through a combination of membership dues; donations of resources, facilities, equipment and staff time from member institutions; sales of publications and instructional materials; grants; and investment income. 


The Council’s governance is vested in two official bodies, the Executive Committee and the Plenum. The Executive Committee is composed of nine individuals elected from member institutions. The Executive Committee makes decisions about appointments and compensation of personnel, develops plans for and makes recommendations to the Plenum, and, when necessary, makes interim program decisions. Executive Committee Officers consist of a President, whose activities include presiding at all Plenary Sessions and at Executive Committee Meetings and delivering a presidential address at the annual convention; the President-Elect, who chairs the convention; and the Secretary Treasurer.
The Plenum, comprised of one representative from each member university, elects the Executive Committee, helps make governance, finance, and membership decisions, provides linkages with member university faculty and students and promotes programmatic involvement with UCEA.


UCEA Central Staff are led by the UCEA Executive Director, whose responsibilities include working with the Executive Committee to build the vision, goals, and activities for UCEA consistent with it’s mission and leading, supporting, managing, and executing the routine work of UCEA. Central Staff also generally include an Associate Director, an Assistant to the Director, a Financial Director, and graduate assistants.

UCEA Executive Directors

Mónica Byrne-Jiménez

June 2019 – Present


Michelle D. Young

Sept 2000 – May 2019

Patrick B. Forsyth



Richard V. Hatley (Interim)

Jan-Aug 2000

Charles L. Willis



Daniel E. Griffiths (Interim)


Daniel R. Davies



Jack A. Culbertson