Michael G. Gunzenhauser is Associate Professor and Associate Chair for the new Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy. 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.
Dr. Gunzenhauser studies ethics, social justice, the foundations of research, and school reform. His most recent publications are collaborative articles with Dr. Osly Flores, "Justice in the Gaps: School Leader Dispositions and the Use of Data to Address the Opportunity Gap," in Urban Education, and "The Problems with Colorblind Leadership Revealed: A Call for Race-Conscious Leaders," in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. This project is leading to a book on leadership ethics from a race-conscious perspective, written in collaboration with Dr. Flores and Dr. Michael Quigley. Dr. Gunzenhauser’s 2012 book, The Active/Ethical Professional: A Framework for Responsible Educators, was a winner of the Critics' Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association
Another recent collaborative project, with Ya-Wen Hou and Che-Wei Lee, on disciplinary power expressed through student evaluations, "Student Evaluation of Teaching as a Disciplinary Mechanism: A Foucauldian Analysis," is published in The Review of Higher Education. Dr. Gunzenhauser’s 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 and a book chapter on the epistemological challenges of inquiry, “From Empathy to Creative Intersubjectivity in Qualitative Research.”
Since 2004, he has been an associate professor in the School of Education, teaching courses in philosophy of education, ethics, social foundations, qualitative research, and research foundations. He has advised more than 35 PhD and EdD students, most who have studied critical applications of social justice to K-12 and higher education. From September 2014 to August 2019, he was Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Certification in the School of Education. He is a former president of the Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society and is on the review board of Educational Theory and the editorial board for Educational Foundations.
Before coming to Pitt, 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.