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  • When: October 4, 2017, 12 pm
  • Where: ABF Woods Conference Room, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor, Lakeside, Chicago IL 60611

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Rachel Montgomery is a PhD candidate in Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University.

 Rachel Montgomery's primary research interest centers on the study of leaders and leadership in higher education. Specifically, her work focuses on change processes and governance strategies employed in varied higher education contexts (e.g., law schools, professional education, liberal arts colleges).  Her dissertation examines the concept of "administrative co-leadership" through an in-depth analysis of its implementation in the form of co-deanships at several U.S. law schools. Such a partnership approach to administrative leadership (alternatively referred to as "co-leadership” or "dyadic" leadership) is seen as al way of addressing the increasing demands on leaders operating at the executive levels of higher education institutions. Her work argues that the assessment of this approach’s efficacy, or an alternative, must take into account the broader organizational challenges and strains leaders face. Key among them are institutional/unit size, structural complexity, the interests and needs of a diverse student body, marketplace competitiveness, rate of change, and technology usage. Her work is qualitative and interdisciplinary in character and builds on the intersection points among literatures in higher education, industrial/organizational psychology, and business management.

 Rachel has served as managing editor of the American Journal of Education and editor-in-chief of Higher Education in Review. Her published work has appeared in Higher Education in Review and the American Journal of Education Online Forum. She received an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lynchburg College and an B.F.A in Art (Graphic Design and Photography) from Brevard College. 


Christopher J. (CJ) Ryan, Jr. is a Ph.D. candidate in Policy Studies at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

Using a theoretical framework grounded in behavioral economics, along with  econometric methods, CJ’s research centers on law and policy. Specifically, his research examines issues of organizational and individual decision making in legal education, business, and intellectual property. His dissertation, “Chasing Paper: The Economics of Attending Law School in the 21st Century," explores the economics of legal education and examines the risk tolerance of and labor market returns to law school graduates. His scholarship has appeared in the Alabama Law Review, the NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law, Research in Higher Education, as well as other peer reviewed journals and law reviews published by the University of Notre Dame, University of Kentucky, University of Richmond, and John Marshall Law School. His scholarship has been cited in the Washington Post, Politico, Above the Law, and Inside Higher Ed. CJ’s published and working papers can be found at his SSRN page. He has taught courses on higher education law and organizational theory. 

Prior to undertaking his doctoral studies at Vanderbilt, CJ worked in law and university administration. He has also served as a higher education policymaker as a gubernatorial appointee to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He received an A.B. from Dartmouth College, a M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky.

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