Dr. Ronald Flowers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership and Counseling and served as Department Head from 2015-2019. He has been on faculty at Eastern Michigan University since 2006, and in addition to teaching graduate courses in educational leadership, administration, and the history of higher education, Dr. Flowers has held several leadership roles. Before becoming department head, he served as the Director of the Educational Leadership Internship Program, as well as, President of the EMU Graduate Council.
A historian, sociologist, and qualitative methodologist by training, Dr. Flowers’ has authored several works covering a range of topics across P-16 education. With an emphasis on organizational theory and a background in athletic administration, his research has examined the transitional experience of transfer student-athletes and analyzed the experiences and perceptions of academically successful African American college football players. In addition to an interest in intercollegiate athletics, Dr. Flowers has also explored the histories of The Michigan State Normal School, the establishment of Michigan’s public-school system, and rural schooling in the state. Currently, he is investigating the history of the Detroit Public Schools, specifically the development and implementation of the Educational Achievement Authority of Michigan.
Before joining the faculty at EMU, Dr. Flowers gained significant experience as a college football coach, athletic director, and university administrator. In his free time, he is an avid woodworker and model builder.
Dr. Flowers, in addition to his teaching responsibilities in the Department of Leadership and Counseling, is the director of the Educational Leadership Internship Program. Before becoming a member of the faculty at Eastern Michigan University, Dr. Flowers spent over 20 years as a college football coach, athletic director and university administrator. His recent work has included authoring Institutional Hypocrisy: Sports on America's College Campuses, Physical Education and Athletics in America's Schools, and Win one for the Gipper: The Organizational Foundations of Intercollegiate Athletics. In addition to his work on intercollegiate athletics, he has written on the history of K–12 education including John D. Pierce and the Beginnings of the One Best System, Closing Small Rural Schools, and The Michigan State Normal School: An Institutional and Historical Analysis, (VDM Publishing). His research focuses on the use of history and organizational/institutional theory to analyze issues related to P–16 education. Most recently, he has examined the transition experience of transfer student-athletes and is currently working on a study of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's relationship to higher education's academic mission.