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Kathy Canfield-Davis, Ph.D.

Kathy Canfield-Davis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Department Chair


CDA Harbor Center; Room 127C



Mailing Address

1031 N. Academic Way
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

  • University of Idaho Excellence in Outreach and Engagement Award, 2010

  • Idaho Association of School Administrators Dedicated Editorial Volunteer Award, 2010 and 2014

  • University of Idaho College of Education Outstanding Contributions to Public Service Award, 2009

Areas of Specialization:

  • Leadership and social justice, multicultural education, and the establishment of community partnerships to promote human rights.

  • Leadership and educational governance; the interface between policy, politics, and educational leaders.


Kathy Canfield-Davis, Ph.D., has a professional career that spans K-12 and higher education. Within K-12, she has been a teacher, special education director, assistant superintendent and superintendent. She is an associate professor of Educational Leadership and is the department chair for Leadership and Counseling in the University of Idaho College of Education. Her scholarship focuses on one consistent theme: social justice. She has explored the topic from several landscapes including leadership and community activism, the value of multicultural education for educational leaders, the impact of the legislative process and policy making on education and the unique challenges of Idaho’s rural schools. Canfield-Davis has served as editor for the Researcher, journal for the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association and Perspectives, the official publication of the Idaho Association of School Administrators.

Using synchronous and asynchronous instruction, Canfield-Davis has taught nearly every course required for principal and superintendent certification. She serves as an advisor to more than 90 graduate students seeking their masters and educational specialist degrees. In addition, Canfield-Davis has mentored multiple students through their doctoral studies.

Her community activism is extensive and has included membership on human rights commissions, civic boards, community development councils and higher education human rights advisory committees. Within the private sector, she is a national consultant on school facilities.

  • Leadership

  • Social Justice

  • Rural Schools

  • K-12 policy, politics, and governance

  • Gender

  • Tony Stewart Leadership Model for Social Justice: Applications in Montana and Oregon.

  • Leadership and the Decision Making Process of Athletic Directors: Pre-Service or On-The-Job Training?

  • Women’s Perceived Entry and Access Opportunities to Leadership in Higher Education through the Lens of Feminist Theory and Practice.

  • The Landscape of Collective Bargaining and Educational Reform: A Case Study on Reframing Policy.

  • An Examination of Educational Leadership Preparation Programs Through the Eyes of Superintendents and Principals.

  • Canfield-Davis, K., Tenuto, P., Joki, R., & Hadley, E. (2011). "Nine decades later: Idaho women reflect on the meaning of the nineteenth amendment." Advancing Women in Leadership, 31, 69-78. 

  • Canfield-Davis, K., & Jain, S. (2010). "Legislative decision making on education issues: A qualitative study." The Qualitative Report, 15(3), 600-629. 

  • Canfield-Davis, K., Jain. S., Wattam, D., McMurtry, J., & Johnson, M. (2010). "Factors of influence on legislative decision making: A descriptive study." Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, 13(2), 55-68. 

  • Canfield-Davis, K., Gardiner, M., & Joki, R. (2009). "Social justice leadership in action: The case of Tony Stewart" (Reprinted). Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 3(4), 205-217.

  • Nine Decades Later: Idaho Women Reflect on the Meaning of the Nineteenth Amendment

  • Legislative Decision-Making on Education Issues: A Qualitative Study


Mailing Address:
College of Education, Health and Human Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3087

Phone: 208-292-2519

Fax: 208-292-2544