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Faculty/Staff Profiles

George J. Petersen

Professor & Founding Dean

Office: 102 Tillman Hall
Phone: 864-656-4444
Vita: Click Here

Educational Background

Ph.D. Educational Policy, Organizations and Leadership
University of California Santa Barbara 1993

MA Educational Policy, Organizations and Leadership
University of California Santa Barbara 1991

BA Philosophy (Cum Laude)
Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, Italy 1981


Dr. George J. Petersen has been a public school teacher, administrator and university faculty member. Currently, he is the Founding Dean and Professor in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education. Prior to this appointment he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Education at California Lutheran University. He was the Chair of the Department of Graduate Studies at the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and Co-Director of the University of California Santa Barbara and Cal Poly Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Petersen is the author or co-author of three books and over 100 book chapters, professional articles, research papers, monographs and commissioned reports. Much of Dr. Petersen's scholarly work has focused on the executive leadership of district superintendents, their beliefs, roles, and work in the area of instructional leadership and policy. Dr. Petersen's work has been widely published and is internationally recognized for its quality and impact.

In recognition of his scholarship and service to the field, he was the winner of the University of California Santa Barbara's Gevirtz School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. As a faculty member at the University of Missouri-Columbia, he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award every year from 1998 to 2004. From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Petersen was a finalist for both the Outstanding Teaching and Distinguished Scholarship Awards at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. As a public school teacher he was the recipient of the Sallie Mae Outstanding Teaching Award in 1987. The Sallie Mae Award is a national award given to the top 100 teachers in the United States.

Dr. Petersen earned his M.A and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Organizations and Policy from the University of California Santa Barbara. From 2000-2004, he also served as the Associate Director of University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).

Research Interests

Superintendents and School Board Relations.
Professional Development for Executive School Leaders
Organizational Communication and Conflict Resolution
Lego Serios Play (Individual and Team Leadership Workshops for Organizational Development)