Donald R. LaMagdeleine, Ph.D.

Leadership, Policy and Administration
(651) 962-4893
MOH 412 | Opus Hall

I have a varied – some might say strange – blend of interdisciplinary “tap roots.” As an undergraduate I was a double psychology and philosophy major. Besides a Ph.D. in sociology I have an M.A. in History and Phenomenology of Religion. My early academic research focused on the sociology of religion, mostly concerning U.S. Catholicism. More recently I focused on educational policy and leadership using mostly qualitative methods. My current research interest is the numerous ways in which key aspects of many types of professional work reflect strong cultural norms often associated with religious beliefs and rituals.

The beginning of my faculty career coincided with the UST Leadership Doctoral program’s founding. I have advised over 45 dissertations (all at UST) on a wide spectrum of topics. Most of these dissertations have used some variety of Chicago School/grounded theory, cultural ethnography and/or survey methods. I have co-published or presented with a number of authors whose dissertations I chaired.


  • LaMagdeleine, D., Maxcy, B.D., Pounder, D., & Reed, C. (2009). The context of university-based educational leadership preparation. In M. Young, G. Crow, R. Ogawa, & J. Murphy, Handbook of Research on the Education of School Leaders, Routledge, New York
  • Dexter, S., & LaMagdeleine, D.R. (2002). Dominance theater,slam-a-thon, and cargo cults: Three illustrations using conceptual metaphors in qualitative research works. Qualitative Inquiry, 8, 362-80
  • LaMagdeleine, D.R.,& Kramer, B.H. (1998). Transgression and forgiveness in an international school: A nonmodern case study. Educational Administration Quarterly 34:3:427-455.

Awards & Accomplishments

  • University Schmitt Fellow (1983)
  • Member, National Jesuit Honor Society (1983 to present)