For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

CEHD and U of M Word Marks


206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Muhammad Khalifa

Associate Professor

178 Pillsbury Dr SE
332 Burton Hall


Office Hours:
By appointment

Ph.D., Michigan State University, educational administration
M.A., Eastern Michigan University, TESOL
B.A., University of Michigan,science/social science education


Areas of Interest

Culturally Responsive School Leadership
Qualitative Research: Critical Ethnography, Autoethnography, Case Study
Urban Education
International/Global Education
Equity and Diversity

Dr. Muhammad Khalifa has helped schools, districts, and departments of education address inequities in school. Having worked as a public school teacher and administrator in Detroit, his research examines how urban school leaders enact culturally responsive leadership practices. Dr. Khalifa has recently published in the Teachers College Record, QSE, Urban Review, EAQ, the Journal of Negro Education, and the Journal of School Leadership. He is coeditor of two widely sought books: Handbook on Urban Educational Leadership (Rowan & Littlefield), and Becoming Critical: The Emergence of Social Justice Scholars (SUNY Press). His collective experiences allow him to help U.S. schools perform equity audits to address achievement gaps and discipline gaps in school. In addition to his urban work in the U.S., Dr. Khalifa has engaged in school leadership reform in African/Asian countries.

Selected Publications

  1. Khalifa, M., Witherspoon Arnold, N., & Newcomb, W. (2015). Understand and advocate for communities first. Phi Delta Kappan.

  2. Khalifa, M., Douglas, T., Venzant Chambers, T. (2015). White gazes of Black Detroit: Milliken v. Bradley I, Post-Colonial theory, and why inequities persist. Teachers College Record, 117(12).

  3. Khalifa, M. & Briscoe, F. (2015). A counternarrative autoethnography exploring school districts’ role in reproducing racism: Willful blindness to racial inequities. Teachers College Record, 117(8).

  4. Khalifa, M., Bashar-Ali, K. & Abdi, N. Witherspoon Arnold, N. (2014). From Post Colonial to neoliberal schooling in Somalia: The need for culturally relevant school leadership among Somaliland principals. Planning and Changing 45(3/4).

  5. Khalifa, M. (2014). Can Blacks be racist?: Black-on-Black principal abuse in an urban school setting. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. doi: 10.1080/09518398.2014.916002

  6. Khalifa, M., Dunbar, C. & Douglass, T. (2013). Derrick Bell, CRT and educational leadership 1995-present. Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 16(4).

  7. Khalifa, M. (2013). Creating spaces for urban youth; the emergence of culturally relevant (hip-hop) pedagogy and implications for school leadership. Multicultural Learning & Teaching, 8(2).

  8. Khalifa, M. (2013). Promoting our students: Examining the role of school leadership in the self-advocacy of at-risk students. Journal of School Leadership, 23(5).

  9. Khalifa, M., Jennings, M., Briscoe, F., Olesweski, A., & Abdi, N. (2013). Racism? Administrative and community perspectives in data-driven decision making: Systemic perspectives versus technical-rational perspectives. Urban Education, 49(2).

  10. Khalifa, M. (2012). A new paradigm in urban school leadership: Principal as community leader. Educational Administration Quarterly, 48(3). (top-rated article by UCEA and EAQ).

  11. Khalifa, M. (2012). Caught between theory and reality: Positionality of a Black male educator in urban Detroit. Vitae Scholasticae, 29(2).

  12. Khalifa, M. (2011). Teacher expectations and principal behavior; responding to teacher acquiescence. The Urban Review, 43(5).

  13. Updated September 9, 2015