Thomas M. Skrtic

Thomas Skrtic
  • Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Special Education

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall, room #525


Thomas M. Skrtic, Ph.D., is the Willamson Family Distinguished Professor of education in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. His academic interests are classical pragmatism, institutional theory, and democratic social reform, which inform several of his published works, including Behind Special Education: A Critical Analysis of Professional Culture and School Organization (1991), Disability and Democracy: Reconstructing (Special) Education for Postmodernity (1995), and more recently, his contributions to Challenging Orthodoxy in Special Education: Dissenting Voices (Gallagher et al., 2004). In 2004 he was recognized in the Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership as one of the two most influential figures in reconceptualizing the philosophy and practice of special education, and in 2009 he received the Senior Scholar Award of the Disability Studies in Education interest group of the American Educational Research Association for his pioneering work in disability studies, as well as Syracuse University's William Pearson Tolley Medal for distinguished leadership in lifelong learning.


Thomas M. Skrtic specializes in organization theory, special education policy and administration, and qualitative research and evaluation.


Research interests:

  • racial bias in special education
  • institutional theory
  • policy design and implementation


Teaching interests:

  • civic professionalism
  • qualitative inquiry
  • special education policy and leadership