photo of Mary John O'Hair


Mary John O’Hair, Ed.D.

Department of Educational Leadership Studies
111C Dickey Hall
(859) 257-8921

Dr. Mary John O’Hair is a professor of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky. Dr. O’Hair served as dean of the UK College of Education for nine years (2009-2018). Prior to moving to Kentucky, she served as vice provost and K20 Center director at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. O’Hair began her career as a middle school teacher in Texas and New Mexico. She has a distinguished teaching record at four universities. Dr. O’Hair has led educational transformation initiatives in two states (Kentucky and Oklahoma) and served as principal investigator for grants totaling more than $40 million designed to improve learning and leading in P-12 and higher education, including one U.S. patent for co-inventing an electronic game-based learning system. She was the founding editor of Teacher Education Yearbook (Corwin Press; Association of Teacher Educators) and has served as co-editor and associate editor for multiple publications in education and communication disciplines.

Dr. O’Hair has published numerous journal articles and books on topics including educational leadership, teacher education, communication, and engaged scholarship. Recent edited books include: Handbook of Applied Communication Research Vol. 1 & 2 (2020; Wiley Blackwell); Communicating Science in Times of Crisis: Coronavirus (2021 expected; Wiley Blackwell).

Dr. O’Hair has served on multiple national and state boards, including the Association of Teacher Educators; Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board; AdvancED Kentucky; USDE Regional Education Lab – Appalachia; and Phi Delta Kappa, International.

Dr. O’Hair’s research and teaching interests include educational leadership, organizational learning, communication, and engaged scholarship.

CV – (PDF)

Research categories: Communication, Educational Leadership, Innovation, Learning