Thomas Jandris, PhD

Dean, College of Innovation and Professional Programs

Senior Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer (CINO)

Professor of Educational Leadership

Dr. Jandris researches data, driven decision-making processes, education finance and leadership. He also teaches leadership, finance, education law, entrepreneurship and microenterprise development. Among his areas of expertise are educational policy and reform.

As the dean of the large and rapidly growing College of Graduate and Innovative Programs at Concordia, Dr. Jandris leads several graduate programs that are among the largest in the country, serving approximately 5,000 graduate students in sixty-four programs. He was also the founding dean of the College of Business at Concordia-Chicago. Most recently, the University of Minnesota, where Jandris serves on the board of the College of Education and Human Development, named its “Thomas P. Jandris Center for Innovation in Higher Education” after him.

Several years ago, Dr. Jandris established Progress Education Corporation to offer staff development, school improvement planning, policy consulting and a line of proprietary technology-based learning management tools to schools, districts and states. Previously he served as president of EDmin, Inc., a company that develops technology solutions to empower performance management in public education. Other private sector education experience include founding and managing Fox River Learning and serving as CEO of HOSTS Corporation. 

Prior to EDmin, Dr. Jandris served as the lead consultant to the governor of Michigan and the Detroit mayor’s office during the reform takeover of the Detroit Public Schools. At the request of then Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Commissioner of Education Tom Gallagher, Dr. Jandris helped draft the enabling legislation to implement a constitutional amendment to restructure the governance of Florida’s educational system. Additional work is focused on designing and planning comprehensive performance management systems for urban school districts.

He previously served as director of state services for the Education Commission of the States, directing policy consultants and technical advisors for the nation’s governors, legislators and education leaders. He also was chief architect and leader of the commission’s Urban Coalition and Corporate Partners Programs and directed a three-year national study of the governance of America’s schools.

Prior to his tenure at ECS, Dr. Jandris had extensive careers in both education and the private sector. He was a teacher, principal and director of secondary education at a large urban school district. He founded and grew a highly successful human resources consulting company. A former U.S. Olympic team member and syndicated columnist, he also is a licensed psychologist who continues to teach at the graduate level. He had been a member of Concordia's faculty since 2006.

Dr. Jandris is a licensed psychologist who continues to teach and advise at the graduate level. He is in demand as a speaker and consultant around the world on topics relating to “Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education,” the topic that currently consumes most of his research and scholarship.


  • PhD, Educational Administration - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • MEd, Educational Psychology - Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • BS, Education - Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 

Academic and Professional Highlights

Distinction and Honors

  • Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota, 2011.
  • Who’s Who in America, 1997.
  • Who’s Who in American Education, 1996.
  • U.S. Olympic Team, 1976.
  • Presidential Spirit of Honor Medal, 1971.


  • "Emerging Professional Doctorate Programs and the Role of Partner Organizations" (with Maddocks, A.). 2nd International Conference on Professional Doctorates, April 2011.
  • “Data Driven Decision Making and the Classroom Teacher.” Chicago Lutheran Education Foundation, Chicago, Aug. 13, 2007.
  • “School Reform and the Classroom Teacher.” National Education Association, Philadelphia, Penn., July 2, 2007.
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in NCLB.” Annual Educators’ Forum, San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 21, 2006.
  • “The State of Technology in American Education.” Forum for State Senate Presidents, Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 14, 2005.
  • “Data Driven Decision Making for Instructional Leaders.” Ohio Association of Elementary School Principals, Columbus, Oh., Oct. 25, 2004.
  • “The Merits of a National Curriculum.” Lou Dobbs Tonight, "Face Off," moderated by Lou Dobbs, New York, Aug. 27, 2003.
  • “No Child Left Behind.” Introduction to the First Lady’s Literacy Campaign, Inaugural of President George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 2001.
  • “Technology and Accelerating Student Achievement.” EAST National Conference, Little Rock, Ark., Feb. 19, 2001.
  • “Governing America’s Schools Project: Changing the Rules.” EduVentures 2000 Conference, Detroit, Mich., July 27, 2000.
  • “Alternative Education Governance Models.” Florida Commissioners’ Blue Ribbon Committee on Education Governance, Tallahassee, Fla., Jan. 18, 2000.


  • "History of Education Reform." Sage Publishing, 2011.
  • “What’s Missing in the Evaluation of Principals.” The Navigator, January 2008.
  • “Underfunded.” District Administration Magazine, April 2006.
  • Essentials for Principals: Data-Based Decision Making. NAESP and the Educational Research Service, 2001.
  • “Who’s Running Urban Schools?.” Philadelphia Sunday Sun, Houston Forward Times, Florida Star, Jackson Advocate, Kansas City Globe and Baton Rouge Weekly Press.
  • “Working.” Syndicated weekly column for Copley Press Newspapers, 1986–1990.


  • American Association of School Administrators
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Council of Educational Administration
  • Executive Committee, University Center of Lake County
  • Advisory Council, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota