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College of Education

George J. Petersen

Interim Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Construction and Provost Distinguished Professor of Educational Innovation

Office: 1-150 Lee Hall
Phone: 864-656-2874
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


George J. Petersen has been a public-school teacher, administrator, and university faculty member. Prior to his appointment as the Interim Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Construction, he served as the Founding Dean of the College of Education at Clemson University. He has also held the leadership positions of Dean of the Graduate School of Education at California Lutheran University, 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. He was a tenured professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia and served as the associate director of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), a national research and policy organization.

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

In recognition of his scholarship and service, Petersen received numerous awards, including Clemson University’s Ralph D. Elliott Award for Outstanding Service to Off-Campus, Distance and Continuing Education, the University of California-Santa Barbara's Gevirtz College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award and the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He was also 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, 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)