Dr. Leonard Donovan Taylor Jr.
PhD, University of Minnesota, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development; MS, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis; BS, UW–Madison, Communication Arts, Communication Science and Rhetoric
Originally from Milwaukee, Leonard grew up with a passion for education. After graduating from high school, he became the first in his family to attend college, beginning his academic career at UW-Madison. While there, he was a Powers-Knapp Scholar (renamed the Mercile J Lee Scholars Program), a CeO student and a member of the Gamma Epsilon chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. After seven years and two degrees from the UW–Madison, he found his purpose in helping others realize their own leadership potential. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Organizational Leadership and Policy Development, and is an Associate Professor in the Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology department at Auburn University.
Leonard has taught in college contexts for nearly a decade in various teaching roles, working with undergraduate and graduate students. His research is deeply informed by his previous experiences facilitating High Impact Practices as a practitioner, and his ongoing research projects related to the implementation of student success practices in various institutional and disciplinary contexts. Leonard’s research is focused on investigating and improving how students’ success is supported in higher education institutions. Through research, teaching, and consulting he works to understand and interrogate how administrators, faculty and staff members, and other post-secondary stakeholders use research, data, and promising practices to enhance post-secondary outcomes. His work has been funded through the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation, College Student Educators International (ACPA), as well as other national and local entities. His recently published book titled, Enacting Student Success: Critical and alternative approaches for practice, is an example of this work.