Kern Alexander’s current research interests include education finance and law. He has worked extensively as an expert in state school finance litigation. His work has been cited in law reviews, law journals, and appellate court decisions.

He is the Editor of the Journal of Education Finance, distributed by the University of Illinois Press.

Alexander has an ongoing research interest in elementary, secondary, and in higher education administration, finance, and law.

Key Professional Appointments

Excellence Professor (tenured) Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002 - present

Interim President Murray State University, Murray, KY, 2006 - 2006

President Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky, 1994 - 2001

University Distinguished Professor (tenured) Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, 1988 - 1994

President Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 1985 - 1988

Education Policy and Budget Coordinator State of Florida, Office of the Governor, Governor D. Robert Graham, 1982 - 1985

Professor (tenured) Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, University of Florida, 1968 - 1985

Director Institute for Educational Finance, University of Florida, 1972 - 1982

Associate Director, then Director National Educational Finance Project, 1968 - 1974

Chief Financial Practices Section, Washington D.C., Office of Construction, US Office of Education, 1966 - 1968


Diploma, in Educational Studies, (with distinction), Two dissertations, Oxford University, Pembroke College, 1977

Ed.D.,, Educational Administration, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1965

B.A., English and History, Centre College of Kentucky, 1961

Awards, Honors, Associations

Distinguished Education Research Lecturer for 2016 Kansas State University, 2016 - 2016

Dr. Samuel Robinson Award for Leadership and Service to Education State Board of Education of Kentucky, 2012 - 2012

Recognition of Scholarly Contributions Brigham Young Law Journal, 2015 - 2015

Recognition of Scholarly Contributions Indiana International Law Review, 2015 - 2015

Recognition of Scholarly Contributions Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy, 2015 - 2015

Recognition of Scholarly Contributions Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights, 2015 - 2015

Lifetime Achievement Award National Education Finance Conference, 2011 - 2011

Samuel I. Hicks Executive-in-Residence Ohio University, 2008 - 2008

Distinguished Service Award Kentucky School Superintendents' Association, 2006 - 2006


Special Interest Session - Presentation Topic: "Restructuring, Prioritizing, and Financing Schools in U.S. and England" (2014).: Rhodes House, Oxford.

General Session - Presentation Topic: "Education Litigation and Finance in the United States" (2014). Oxford Union Debating Society: Oxford.

General Session - Presentation Topic: "The Case that Changed a State" (2014).: Louisville, KY.

Special Interest Session - Presentation Topic: "Bifurcating Liability and Remedy in State School Finance Litigation" (2014).: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Louisville, KY.

Workshop Session - Presentation Topic: "Publishing in Education Finance, Law, and Policy Journals" (2014).: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Louisville, KY.

Special Interest Session - Presentation Topic: "Cyber Harassment in Schools" (2014).: St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.

"John Stuart Mills and Women's Rights" (2012).

"Vouchers and Charter Schools: Resegregating American Schools" (2012).: Columbus, Ohio.

"Consequences of Privatization of Elementary and Secondary Education in America" (2012).: San Antonio, Texas.

"Public Money for Private Schools" (2012).: Youngstown, Ohio.

Ohio Education Conference on The Future of the Public Common School (2012). Ohio Education Conference on The Future of the Public Common School. Pritchard Civic Center: Cambridge, Ohio.

"Vouchers, Charter Schools and the Decline of Public Schools" (2011). Ohio School Board Association: Columbus, Ohio.

The Journal of Education Finance, Founding and Legacy, Tampa, FL., (2011).

Report of Presidential Review Committee, Six year Evaluation of President of California State University (2011).: Fullerton, CA.

"Public Money for Private Schools" (2009).: Youngstown, Ohio.


Chair, Board of Editors and Editor Journal of Education Finance, 2002 - present

Adviser to Legal Team Kentucky Pension Funds Case, Adviser to Legal Team, 2016 - present

Board of Advisors National Education Finance Academy, 2016 - present

Chair, Board of Editors Journal of Education Finance, 2016 - present

School Finance Advisory Committee National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA), 2016 - present

Chair, By-Laws Committee College of Education By-Laws Committee, University of Illinois, 2015 - present

Member, Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University, 2015 - present

Co-Coordinator by contract The Edwin J. O’Leary Endowment in Financial Management, O'Leary Endowment, 2002 - present

Standing adviser and consultant Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding, 1991 - present

Board of Directors and Past President American Education Finance Association, 1974 - present


Public School Finance Study of financing public education systems in the United States; focuses on the social, economic, political, legal, and technical dimensions of developing school finance policy for federal, state, and local governments; relates theory and research in public school finance to administrative practice in budgeting and financial administration.

Education Law Examines the range of federal and state constitutional and statutory sources that apply to the constituents (pupils, parents, teachers, administrators, and board members) engaged in public schools. Emphasizes development of legal analytical skills.

Law and School District Leader Advanced study of public school law, addressing legal and fiscal policy issues related to effective management of public school districts. In-depth analysis of federal and state statutes, with an emphasis on recent court decisions and legal trends; emphasizes development of legal analytical skills. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

Higher Education Law Provides graduate students with core knowledge of the law affecting the administration of colleges and universities. Students become versed in legal issues to enhance administrative effectiveness and to address legal issues that confront the administrator in the operation of an institution of higher education. Importantly, the course does not aspire to invest the student with legal knowledge sufficient to operate without advice of professional legal counsel.

Alexander, Kern

Excellence Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



329 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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