The Catholic University of America

Catholic University Professors Available to Discuss Catholic Education

Against the backdrop of Catholic schools closing in various parts of the country, experts at Catholic University are helping school administrators chart a course for the future. Professors from the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Education are available to comment on strategic planning for Catholic schools, school administration, and Catholic identity.

The following professors have been conducting diocesan-wide planning and evaluation studies for the Catholic schools in the archdioceses of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Mobile, New Orleans and Washington, and the dioceses of Alexandria (La.), Biloxi, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Cheyenne, Corpus Christi, Honolulu, and Providence. Professors John Convey and Leonard DeFiore are currently working with the Diocese of Trenton and the Archdiocese of San Antonio on strategic planning studies for their Catholic schools. Their study was recently referred to in Our Sunday Visitor.

  • STRATEGIC PLANNING AND RESEARCH — John J. Convey is the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Professor of Education and former provost (1997-2007) of Catholic University. His professional work focuses on research and strategic planning for Catholic schools and Catholic identity. Convey is the author or editor of eight books on Catholic education including.

    Convey was awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of his service to Catholic University and to Catholic schools. In 2011 he received the President’s Medal from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for his contributions to research and strategic planning for Catholic schools.

    From 2005 to 2011, he was a commissioner on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and currently serves on its appeals panel. He has been a consultant to the Committee on Catholic Education of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) since 2005. Convey recently appeared on PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

    Contact Convey at 202-319-5810 or


  • CATHOLIC SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION — Leonard DeFiore, Brother Patrick Ellis Professor of Education, has been researching Catholic schools for the last 10 years. DeFiore is a past president of the NCEA and was the first lay person to lead the organization. He has served as superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J., and in the Archdiocese of Washington.

    His most recent publications are two books: Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward (2009), which he wrote with professors Convey and Schuttloffel, and Story of the Storm: Catholic Elementary Schools from the 1960s to the Present (2011).

    DeFiore has served on the Board of Trustees of the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges and on the Committee on Catholic Education at the USCCB.

    Contact DeFiore at 202-319-6397 or



    LEADERSHIP AND POLICY — Merylann “Mimi” J. Schuttloffel is associate professor of educational administration and policy studies and chair of the Department of Education. She directs the Catholic Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral program. She is also a fellow of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, an interdisciplinary research institute at CUA.

    Schuttloffel has written extensively on the intersection of leadership and Catholic identity through her concept of contemplative practice. She is the author of three NCEA publications, Character and the Contemplative Principal (1999), Report on the Future of Catholic School Leadership (2003), and Contemplative Leadership that Creates a Culture of Continuous Improvement (2008). She also has numerous publications on the future of Catholic school leadership, including a chapter in the International Handbook of Catholic Education (2007).

    Schuttloffel has 40 years of experience as an educator in public, parochial, and private schools located in rural, urban, and suburban settings. She has been a teacher, a school counselor, and an elementary school (pre-K through 8) principal. She serves on the Executive Board of the Chief Administrators for Catholic Education for the NCEA.

    Contact Schuttloffel at 202-319-5805 or

For assistance in reaching these, or any other experts, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines in the Office of Public Affairs at or 202-319-5600.