Faculty Profile

Thomas L.	Alsbury

Thomas L. Alsbury

Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision

Email: alsburyt@spu.edu
Phone: 206-378-5099
Office: Peterson Hall 401

Education: BA, University of Washington, 1983; MEd, University of Washington, 1987; EdD, Washington State University, 2001. At SPU since 2011.

Thomas L. Alsbury comes to Seattle Pacific after spending 10 years at Iowa State University and North Carolina State University. Dr. Alsbury also served 18 years in Washington as a high school science teacher and principal. He holds an EdD in educational leadership from Washington State University and a master’s degree in science curriculum and instruction from the University of Washington.

Dr. Alsbury’s research focuses on school boards, superintendents, and district governance and reform. He serves as director of the National UCEA Center for Research on the Superintendency and District Governance. Dr. Alsbury founded and directs the Innovative Leadership Academy, working with district leaders in high-minority, high-poverty, rural North Carolina districts to build capacity and sustainability for student-directed innovations.

Dr. Alsbury’s book, The Future of School Board Governance: Relevance and Revelation, contributed to his selection as the 2009 UCEA Culbertson Award recipient for “substantively advancing the field of educational administration.” Dr. Alsbury has been a keynote speaker and consultant to association leaders and legislators nationally and internationally, and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and presentations on board and superintendent research.


Snapshots of School Leadership in the 21st Century: Perils and Promises of Leading for Social Justice, School Improvement, and Democratic Community

Palgrave-MacMillan, 2012

Debating Issues in American Education, ed. Charles J. Russo

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2011

Handbook of Research on Educational Politics and Policy

Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2008

The Future of School Board Governance: Relevancy and Revelation

Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008

Selected Publications

  • Alsbury, T.L. (2011). “Should the K–12 Organizational Structure of Schools in the U.S. be Changed Dramatically?” In Russo, C. [Ed.] Debating Issues in American Education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Alsbury, T.L. (2008). “School Board Member and Superintendent Turnover and the Influence on Student Achievement: An Application of the Dissatisfaction Theory.” Leadership & Policy in Schools, 7(2), 202–229.
  • Alsbury, T.L., & Whitaker, K.S. (2007). “Voices of Superintendents: Accountability, Students, and Democratic Voice.” Journal of Educational Administration, 45(2),157–174.
  • Alsbury, T.L. (2004). “Does School Board Turnover Matter? Revisiting Critical Variables in the Dissatisfaction Theory of American Democracy.” International Journal of Leadership in Education, 7(4), 357–377.

Please view Dr. Alsbury’s CV (PDF) for additional publications.

Tom Alsbury

Why I Teach at SPU

Thomas L. Alsbury, Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision

"I teach at SPU because not only can I help students become more effective school leaders, but because the University vision also affirms the importance of, and support of, the training of spirituality as necessary to effective leadership in our schools and equity of care in student success."