Theresa Saunders

A photo of Theresa Saunders.

Associate Professor

Leadership and Counseling

304S John W. Porter Building


[email protected]


Ed.D., Urban Education, University of Southern California

License / Certifications

  • Michigan Superintendent Credential
  • California Teacher Credential
  • California Administrative Services Credential


Dr. Saunders teaches courses in resource allocation and data-based decision-making. Her research focuses on leadership, resource allocation and school improvement in under-performing schools. Additionally, she is interested in leadership in charter schools and alternative school settings. She is the recent recipient of the Provost's New Faculty Award and the eFellows Award at Eastern Michigan University. She has presented her research at a number of conferences and has co-authored a policy brief on school safety for the National Association of Professors of Education Leadership (NCPEA). Dr. Saunders is also a musician, having been a music teacher as well as a composer for choirs, orchestras and bands. Prior to coming to EMU, she worked as a superintendent in Illinois and Michigan.

Interests and Expertise

Research Interests

  • School finance
  • School reform
  • Educational leadership
  • School finance
  • Human resource administration
  • School improvement and innovation
  • School leadership
  • Data-based decision-making


  • EDLD 612 Economics of Public Education
  • EDLD 617 Administering Human Resources in Education
  • EDLD 714 Data-Driven Decision Management Leaders

Publications and Presentations

Selected Publications

  • Social Justice Framework, (for School Reform Office of Michigan Department of Education)
  • Social Justice in Education, Illinois Women in Educational Leadership Bulletin, Fall 2012)
  • School Safety: Implications for Policy and Practice, (co-authored, NCPEA Policy Brief, 2013)
  • Rewarding Careers in Education Panel, (2013 Black Executive Exchange Program Leadership conference, National Urban League)
  • Michigan Department of Education Principal's Academy, (co-facilitator, April 2013)
  • The Business of Education, (Michigan Association of School Boards Conference, Fall 2012)


  • Facilitator - African American Young Men of Promise Initiative, Michigan Department of Education
  • Member - National Alliance of Black School Educators
  • Member - National Black Child Development Institute
  • Member - Equity Team, Michigan Department of Education