Michael G. Gunzenhauser
Professor and Associate Chair

Michael G. Gunzenhauser is Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy. He is also Dean's Faculty Scholar in Equitable Academic Program Strategies and Innovation. He is a philosopher of education and qualitative research methodologist and is currently working on several research topics, including race-conscious ethics, educator professionalism, and responsive caring. His 2012 book, The Active/Ethical Professional: A Framework for Responsible Educators, was published by Bloomsbury/Continuum.

Before coming to Pitt in 2004, Dr. Gunzenhauser was an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University. He earned his PhD degree in Social Foundations under the direction of Drs. Lynda Stone and George Noblit at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; his master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration under the direction of Drs. Robert Nash and Kathleen Manning at the University of Vermont; and his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, also at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Gunzenhauser began his educational career as a resident assistant in 1986, and before becoming a faculty member, he served in several professional administrative roles, including residential counselor at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, graduate assistant at the University of Vermont, and coordinator for pre-college programs at Duke University. He was a graduate researcher for the research and evaluation of the North Carolina A+ Schools Program and co-principal investigator for the initial evaluation of the Oklahoma A+ Schools Program.

Instructional Interests

Practicing engaged pedagogy, Dr. Gunzenhauser teaches courses in philosophy of education, ethics, social foundations, qualitative research, and research foundations. He advises MA and PhD students in Education Policy and EdD students in Higher Education and Education Policy & Social Change. He has graduated more than 35 PhD and EdD students, most who have studied critical applications of social justice to K-12 and higher education, and served on more than 100 dissertation committees.

Scholarly Interests

Applying his background and interest in philosophy of education, Dr. Gunzenhauser studies ethics, social justice, the foundations of research, and school reform. His most recent publications are articles co-authored with Drs. Osly Flores and Michael Quigley, alumni of the Pitt School of Education. This project is leading to a collaborative book on leadership ethics from a race-conscious perspective. Dr. Gunzenhauser is also working on articles on the concepts of responsive caring and educator professionalism as they connect to social justice work.

His line of inquiry on the ethical and epistemological grounding of qualitative research continues with studies of doctoral student preparation in qualitative methodology, including a collaborative project with Dr. Stacy Otto on data analysis.

Featured Publications

Awards and Honors

Faculty Service Award, University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, April 2014

Critics’ Choice Book Award, The Active/Ethical Professional: A Framework for Responsible Educators, American Educational Studies Association, November 2012

Extra Mile Award, University of Pittsburgh, Council of Graduate Students in Education, April 2007

Mary Catherine Ellwein Outstanding Dissertation Award, American Educational Research Association, Division D: Measurement and Research Methodology and SIG: Qualitative Research, April 2001

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

As a member of several professional organizations, Dr. Gunzenhauser is active in service and leadership positions.

He is currently chair of the finance committee of the Philosophy of Education Society.

He has served as president of the Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society, executive board member of the American Educational Studies Association, and advisory board member for the Barbara Jackson Scholars Network of the University Council for Educational Administration.

Michael G. Gunzenhauser


University of Pittsburgh
5316 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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