Co-chair Advisory Board

Dr. Michael J. Bakalis

Dr. Michael J. Bakalis has served in a variety of educational, governmental, and private sector leadership positions. He began his career after graduation from Northwestern University by teaching at the junior high school and high school levels. Upon receiving his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, he taught at Northern Illinois University. He has lectured extensively at various universities throughout the United States and abroad.    

            Dr. Bakalis’s administrative experience has been in government and education. He was elected and served as Illinois State Superintendent of Education and as Illinois State Comptroller. Through Presidential appointment, he served as Deputy Undersecretary of Education in the U.S. Department of Education where he worked with the ten regional offices of the department across the United States and with the U.S. Congress on Educational policy issues.

            Dr. Bakalis’ career in academic administration began at Northern Illinois University where he served as Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has also held positions as Dean of the School of Education at Loyola University and President of Triton College. For fifteen years he served on the faculty of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University where he taught in the field of public and not-for-profit management and policy and in the area of management and strategy.

            Dr. Bakalis has headed various statewide study commissions which have led to legislation and public policy. He was the chief architect of the coalition that brought about the much-heralded Chicago School Reform legislation which brought school decision-making to communities through local school councils. The Illinois Association of School Administrators has honored him in the past with their Illinois Administrator of the Year award.

            Dr. Bakalis has published extensively in the fields of education and public policy and is the author of thirteen books. He also founded the Harbridge Press, which publishes problem-based, critical thinking, materials for elementary and secondary schools.

            In 1999, he founded the American Quality Schools Corporation, a not-for-profit educational management and consulting organization, which has created or managed over twenty schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Over the past number of years Dr. Bakalis has also led his organization into the field of international education. He is currently President and CEO of American Quality Schools and can be contacted at