D. Michael Risen
Associate Professor, Leadership in Educational Administration
Westlake Hall 338
PhD, Educational Administration, Illinois State University
EdS, Educational Administration, Western Illinois University
MS, Educational Administration, Illinois State University
BS, Business Education, Illinois State University
Michael Risen joined the Department of Leadership in Education, Nonprofits and Counseling in the fall of 2004. His recent research includes the analysis of staff development practices in urban school districts and an analysis of the rules and regulations of the IDEA compared to the rules and regulations of the Illinois State Board of Education. Dr. Risen has also examined the behaviors of principals who have proven to be effective social change agents, conducted graduate program assessments that are aligned with ELCC standards, and effectively reconstructed the internship experience to improve leadership practice. Past research includes teacher incentive pay programs, total quality management and its application to public schools, and technology use in K-12 education. His implementation of teacher incentive programs has been featured in the Illinois School Board Journal and he has co-authored a graduate textbook on using metaphorical analysis in qualitative research designs entitled Mastering Metaphor: Policy Analysis for the Visionary Leader. Dr. Risen is also highly published in the area of special education due process, publishing over a dozen due process decisions in the past several years. A decision issued in 2013 was reviewed by the Seventh Circuit of the Federal Courts and affirmed as a precedent setting decision for the Seventh Circuit and the schools residing in its boundaries.
Dr. Risen comes from a K-12 public education background where he served as an elementary teacher for six years and a building administrator for 15 years in East Peoria Elementary School District #86. He also served nine years as Superintendent of Schools at Green Valley Grade School and the subsequent Midwest Central Community Unit District #191, and six years as Superintendent of Byron CUSD #226. Dr. Risen led the successful consolidation of the Green Valley grade and high schools and Forman Unit and has experience in developing strategic planning methods.
Dr. Risen teaches the graduate courses American Public School Law, Legal and Social Change, The School Principalship, Special Education Law, Educational Finance, Leadership Perspectives, Community Relations, and Research Methods.
Dr. Risen is a past Co-Director for the Center of Excellence for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Licensures & Certifications
Dr. Risen holds three Illinois teaching certificates, including high school, a Type 75 for school administrators, and the Illinois Superintendent’s Endorsement.