Ann E. Blankenship Knox

Associate Dean of Administration, Associate Professor
School of Education, Department of Leadership and Higher Education

Ann E. Blankenship Knox


Ph.D. Educational Administration and Policy, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA

J.D., The University of Tennessee, College of Law, Knoxville, TN

B.A. Political Science, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN


North University Hall
P: 909.748.8932


I received my J.D. from the University of Tennessee in 2004 where I served as Managing Editor of the Tennessee Law Review. After practicing as a civil litigator and serving as a municipal and community development volunteer in the United States Peace Corps, I received my Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia in 2013.

I come to education through an untraditional route and I do not take that for granted. I am passionate about education as a tool for personal and societal growth. My main instructional goal is to inspire students to ask "why?" I want students to really interrogate their own assumptions and how they interact with the world and the institutional systems of which they are a part. So often in education, and in life, we get stuck in a rut, doing things the way they've always been done. Sometimes that's because it is actually the best way but often it's because we haven't critically examined "the why."

Areas of Expertise & Academic Interests

My primary areas of interest for research and teaching are education law and policy, particularly as they pertain to issues of equity. Specifically, my research focuses on issues of race, religion, and speech in public schools.

Research & Professional Highlights

I have an active research agenda that focuses primarily on education law and policy, particularly as they promote or inhibit equality of educational opportunity. While I primarily publish my research in the form articles in peer-reviewed social science journals and law reviews, I have also co-edited a book (The principal’s legal handbook (6th ed.)), a special issue of the Education Law and Policy Review, and have authored book chapters on private school vouchers, California education finance policy, and legal issues associated with supervising teachers.

In addition to my academic work, I contribute to my local school system and my professional field. Currently, I serve as a member of the boards of directors of both the Education Law Association (ELA) and the California Association of Professors of Educational Administration (CAPEA).

Degrees & Licensures

Ph.D., Educational Administration and Policy, University of Georgia (2013)

J.D., University of Tennessee, College of Law (2004)

B.A., Political Science, The University of the South (2001)


Blankenship-Knox, A.E. (in press). Penalty or Damages? Are There Limits to Liquidated Damages Provisions in Teacher Employment Contracts. Florida A & M University Law Review.

Blankenship-Knox, A.E. & Geier, B.A. (2020). When Speech Is Your Stock and Trade: What Kennedy v. Bremerton School District Reveals About the Future of Employee Speech and Religion Jurisprudence, Campbell Law Review, 42(1), 31-80.

Blankenship-Knox, A.E. & Geier, B.A. (2018). Closing Schools for Prayer: Recommendations for Increasingly Diverse Districts. Education Law in Practice (West’s Education Law Reporter), 357, 32-38.

Blankenship-Knox, A.E. & Geier, B.A. (2018). Taking a Day Off to Pray: Closing Schools for Religious Observance in Increasingly Diverse Schools. Education & Law Journal (BYU), 2018(1), 89-139.

Blankenship-Knox, A.E. (2017). White, queer and female: Using intersectionality as a tool for teaching social justice in the Deep South. Whiteness and Education, 2(1), 60-75.

Manning, D. & Blankenship, A.E. (2017). Let us pray: School sanctioned prayer in athletics. MAHPERD Journal (Official Journal of the Mississippi Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance), 5, 26-36.

Blankenship-Knox, A.E., Platt, E., & Read, H.* (2017). Rewarding collegiality: The use of collegiality as a factor in faculty evaluation and employment decisions. The Journal of Faculty Development, 31(2), 37-42.

Geier, B. & Blankenship, A.E. (2017). Praying for touchdowns: Contemporary law and legislation for prayer in public school athletics. First Amendment Law Review, 15, 381-436.

Wallace, W.R.*, Platt, E., Blankenship, A.E., & Mandashona, T.* (2016). The Newcomb precedent: College closure and the interpretation of donor intent in New Orleans, Louisiana. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 19(3), 38-49.

DeBray, E. & Blankenship, A.E. (2016). Forward: The Aftermath of ESSA’s Devolution of Power to States: A Federal Role in Incentivizing Equity and Building State and Local Capacity, Education Law and Policy Review, 3, ix-xxvii.

Locke, L. & Blankenship, A.E. (2016). Keeping the flames at bay: The interplay between federal oversight and state politics in Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Program. Journal of Educational Controversy, 10(1).

Blankenship, A.E. & Locke, L. (2015). Culturally-conscious curriculum: The fight between state and federal policies in Tucson. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 18(4), 338-349.

DeBray, E., McDermott, K., Frankenberg, E., & Blankenship, A. (2015). Lessons from a federal grant for school diversity: Tracing a theory of change and implementation of local policies. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23(83), 1-32.

Frankenberg, E., McDermott, K., DeBray, E., & Blankenship, A. (2015). The new politics of diversity: Lessons from a Federal Technical Assistance Grant. American Educational Research Journal, 52(3), 440-474.

Umpstead, R. Blankenship, A.E., & Weiss, L.* (2015). The New State of Teacher Evaluation and Employment Laws: An Analysis of Legal Actions and Trends. West’s Education Law Reporter, 322, 577-597.

Blankenship, A.E. (2014). Teacher tenure: The times they are a changin’. Education Law and Policy Review, 1, 193-227.

Dayton, J. & Blankenship, A.E. (2014). Employment discrimination law: An analysis of the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Vance v. Ball State University. West’s Education Law Reporter, 300, 713-728.

DeBray, E. & Blankenship, A.E. (2013). Future policy directions for Congress in ensuring equality of opportunity: Toward improved incentives, targeting, and enforcement. Peabody Journal of Education, 88(1), 22-36.

Dayton, J., Proffitt Dupre, A., & Blankenship, A.E. (2011). Model anti-bullying legislation: Promoting student safety, civility, and achievement through law and policy reform. West's Education Law Reporter, 272, 19-37.

Professional Affiliations, Societies & Memberships

Education Law Association

California Association of Professors of Education Administration

American Educational Research Association

Critical Race Studies in Education Association


Ken and Lynn Hall Policy Network Scholarly Seed Grant, 2019-20. Project title: “The Price of Equity in Education: A History of Modern Education Funding in California.” Amount awarded: $5,000 (Co-awardee: Paul Jessup)

University of Redlands Emerging Technology Grant, 2017-18. Project title: “Exploring Alternative Delivery Formats for Educational Leadership.” Amount awarded: $3,000

The Aubrey Keith Lucas and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence Award ($4,450 in research funding for 2017-18)

The Aubrey Keith Lucas and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence Award ($4,946 in research funding for 2015-16)

David L. Clark Scholar, April 2013 (national graduate research seminar in educational administration and policy), UCEA and Divisions A & L of AERA

University of Georgia, Emerging Leaders Program, 2012-2013 academic year, The UGA Graduate School (professional development seminar conducted for students identified as exemplary leaders)

A.E. Brown Scholarship, 2012-2013 academic year ($1,000) (awarded for leadership and academic achievement), University of Georgia

Faculty Scholar Award presented by the Educational Administration and Policy Department, February 2012 (awarded for academic achievement), University of Georgia

Del Jones Memorial Trust Scholarship, 2011-2012 academic year ($5,000) (awarded for academic achievement), University of Georgia

College of Education Centennial Scholarship, 2011-2012 academic year ($550) (awarded for academic achievement), University of Georgia

A.E. Brown Scholarship, 2010-2011 academic year ($500) (awarded for leadership and academic achievement), University of Georgia