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Chair's Welcome

Carolyn J. Heinrich
Carolyn J. Heinrich

Welcome to the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development! You will find as you explore our website and visit our department that we are one of the most interdisciplinary units on the Peabody campus, which says a lot in a college that may be one of the most interdisciplinary of its kind in the nation! The people in our department—faculty, students and staff—are the heart of this vibrant, innovative and productive scholarly enterprise that awaits your call on our time and talents.

The mission of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations is to increase understanding and guide improvements in human learning and outcomes, in the political, economic, organizational, social, legal and regulatory contexts in which human development occurs. Trained in the fields of business, economics, education, history, law, political science, public policy, psychology, organizational behavior, sociology and more, we learn from and with each other as we apply multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research, teaching and public service. We purposefully cultivate a collegial and supportive environment for faculty, lecturers, students and staff to excel intellectually and engage socially in the department. This is reflected in our exceptionally strong portfolio of research projects, external funding and highly active research centers, as well as in the top-notch, interactive teaching that our students come to expect.

We are also immersed in the education and policy environments that we study and collaborate with—we delve into the contexts where we conduct our research and strive to positively influence the human and institutional conditions we encounter. The department hosts multiple research-practice partnerships that include collaborations with school districts, state agencies and other local, regional and national organizations.

We invite you to peruse our website to learn more about our research and teaching expertise, which is rich and deep and covers topics such as: educational leadership, school choice and charter schools, educational access and social equity, school finance and financial aid, human resources, law and public policy, performance management, career and technical education, international education and human development, and much more. We also encourage you to visit us on the beautiful Peabody College campus and to meet our kind and outstanding scholars, students and staff, who look forward to welcoming and serving you!


Carolyn J. Heinrich 
Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics
Chair, Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations