Western Kentucky University

2012 Kentucky Educational Leadership Doctoral Symposium

Symposium Speakers

George L. Mehaffy

George MehaffyGeorge Mehaffy, Ph.D., serves as the Vice-President for Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). His division is responsible for a number of special programs and projects for AASCU presidents and chief academic officers in the areas of leadership and organizational change in higher education, focusing on issues such as technology, teacher education, international education, and civic engagement. He organizes and directs two national conferences annually for AASCU chief academic officers and manages a variety of leadership programs and special projects.

Some of his recent projects have included a comprehensive partnership program that paired AASCU institutions with Chinese universities, an articulation and transfer initiative with the American Association of Community Colleges; a multi-state project on evidence in teacher education; a collaborative effort with two other national organizations on graduation rates; and a series of technology conferences involving university teams at the University of Central Florida.

Much of his current work focuses on civic engagement in higher education. In 2003 he launched a civic engagement initiative, the American Democracy Project (ADP), in partnership with The New York Times, involving 214 AASCU institutions representing 1.8 million students. That project has generated a broad range of national and campus-based activities, including 10 regional and 4 national meetings, a Wingspread Conference that created a monograph for senior university leaders, a partnership with the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to develop an instrument to assess civic engagement, and a trip to eastern Europe to develop university partnerships to promote civic engagement.

Robert L. King

Robert L. KingRobert L. King became the third president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education in January 2009. Mr. King is the former Chancellor of the State University of New York, one of the largest comprehensive systems of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the world. More recently, he served as president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation, a statewide charitable foundation with a strong focus on education, economic development, and scientific research.

Mr. King is very active in community service and has volunteered and served on numerous boards and organizations. He has served for nine years on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars; the Education Committee of the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); as advisor to the Middle State Commission on Higher Education regarding reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in Congress; the board of directors of the National Soccer Hall of Fame; and the boards of trustees of A.T. Still University, a specialized university dedicated to training professionals for the health care professions, in Kirksville, Missouri, and Mesa, Arizona, and Prescott College located in Prescott, Arizona.

Mr. King received a bachelor of arts degree in 1968 from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a Juris Doctor in 1971 from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Thomas G. Floyd

Thomas G. Floyd Thomas G. "Tommy" Floyd became superintendent of Madison County Schools in March of 2008 after serving the district as Interim Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer. His focus as superintendent revolves around three concepts: Student Centered, Data Driven, and Continuously Improving. These concepts help Mr. Floyd and the district to take the appropriate steps toward the success of the more than 10,000 students in Madison County Schools.

Floyd’s education career spans 27 years and includes stints in Wayne County Schools, Somerset Independent Schools, Montgomery County Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education. Mr. Floyd has been a teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, a principal, a Highly Skilled Educator for KDE, assistant superintendent and superintendent.

As a result of his dedicated service to students, Mr. Floyd has been recognized state-wide for his accomplishments. He was selected as Kids First Advocacy Award winner for the Kentucky School Boards Association in 2009. In 2004, Mr. Floyd was selected Kentucky High School Principal of the Year by the Kentucky Association of Secondary School Principals and Kentucky Association of School Administrators Administrator of the Year. Mr. Floyd has also received accolades from the Kentucky Library Media Specialists Association, Eastern Kentucky University and the Kentucky Music Educators Association.

Greg Coker

Greg CokerGreg Coker is the President & CEO of The Cathedral Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is Empowering People, Building Teams, Transforming Organizations, and Changing the World. He is the author of "Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose" and presents this keynote address and training program to organizations across the country.

Greg Coker has over 20 years executive level experience with two fortune 500 companies, is a former Commissioner of the Kentucky Public Service Commission, and is a local school board member in Franklin Kentucky. He received both his undergraduate and master’s degree in organization communication from Western Kentucky University.

Nathan Phelps

Nathan PhelpsNathan Phelps teaches a variety of classes in the WKU Honors College.

He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate student (1983-89) where he majored in History, Anthropology, and Philosophy. Nathan Phelps did his graduate studies in Colonial American History at the University of Texas at Austin (1990-96). In graduate school, his main area of research was in American Indian identity in New England and New Mexico during the 17th century.

Nathan’s current research focuses on the most important trends that will shape our world over the next several decades. He is particularly interested in the role higher education will play in preparing students and society for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. More specifically, he is interested in how technological developments will affect how we understand what it means to be human.

 Last Modified 7/25/13