Meghan Pifer

meghan pifer
Department Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development
Room 320A - College of Education
meghan.pifer @

Dr. Pifer's curriculum vitae [PDF]


Dr. Pifer is an associate professor in the Higher Education Administration Program, and also serves as Associate Director of the Master Educator Course, a partnership between UofL and the U.S. Army. She studies colleges and universities as organizational contexts, and the ways in which identity and individual characteristics, and interpersonal networks and relationships, within those contexts shape both individual and organizational outcomes. Currently, this includes research about military-connected students, faculty professional development, and identity-based experiences in the academy. Her prior research includes consideration of academic careers, doctoral education, and undergraduate student mentoring and research activity. Her work has been published in outlets such as Research in Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, The American Journal of Education, and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Before joining UofL, Pifer held faculty positions at Widener University in Chester, PA and Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, PA.

Educational Background

  • PhD, Higher Education
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • Certificate in College Teaching
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • EdM, Higher Education Administration
    Boston University, Boston, MA
  • BA, Philosophy and Literature, cum laude
    The University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, PA

Research Areas

  • Faculty Development
  • Academic Careers
  • Military-connected Students Postsecondary Institutions
  • Diversity, Equity, and Access


  • Qualitative Methods
  • Mixed Methods
  • Practice-Based Graduate Education

Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Favorites Nominee, University of Louisville 2016-2018
  • NAC&U Faculty Ambassador, Widener University 2014-2016
  • Faculty Pedagogical Fellow, Widener University 2014-2015
  • Interdisciplinary Discussion Group Small Grant, Widener University 2013-2014
  • Sponsored Participant, Executive Coaching Program, Widener University 2013-2015
  • Service Learning Faculty Fellow, Widener University 2012-2013; 2014-2015
  • Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant, Penn State University 2009
  • Lavanda P. Muller Graduate Fellow in Education, Penn State University 2007-2008
  • Robert W. Graham Endowed Fellow, Penn State University 2005-2006
  • The Pittsburgh Foundation / Mervin Feldman Scholarship 1999-2000
  • Kappa Delta Pi, Chi Gamma chapter inducted 2012
  • Pi Lambda Theta, Alpha Gamma chapter inducted 2004

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Pifer, M. J., Lunsford, L. G., & Baker, V. L. (2019). Colleagues, culture, and leadership: The academic department as a location of faculty experiences in liberal arts colleges. The Review of Higher Education, 42(2), 537-564. doi:10.1353/rhe.2019.0006
  • Baker, V. L., Lunsford, L. G., Pifer, M. J., Terosky, A., & Meisler, G. (Eds.) (2019). Success After Tenure: Supporting Mid-Career Faculty. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
  • Buckley, J. B., *Turner, H. A., Pifer, M. J., & *Cook, R. (2019). "It's (not) in the syllabus!: Self-authorship and transitions for military-connected students. In J. C. Garvey, J. C. Harris, D. R. Means, R. J. Perez, and C. J. Porter (Eds.), Case Studies for Student Development Theory: Advancing Social Justice and Inclusion in Higher Education (pp. 174-176). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Baker, V. L., Pifer, M. J., & Lunsford, L. G. (2019). Patching up the "leaking leadership pipeline": Fostering mid-career faculty succession management. Research in Higher Education, 60(6), 823-843. doi: 10.1007/s11162-018-9528-9
  • Pifer, M. J., Sun, J. C., Turner, H. A., & Hartz, J. T. (2019, November). ROTC as Campus Environments: Re-Imagining Opportunities for Learning Partnerships on College and University Campuses. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Portland, OR.
  • Buckley, J. B., Pifer, M. J., & Gross, J. (2019, September). Supporting Military-Connected Students. Session presented at the National Association of College Admission Counselors National Conference, Louisville, KY.
  • Sun, J. C., & Pifer, M. J. (2018, November). Improving instructor competency in ROTC: Assessing the effectiveness of an intervention. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Tampa, FL.
  • Smith, W., Messer, T., Sun, J. C., & Pifer, M. J. (2018, October). The intersection of leadership and emotions: Lessons and actions leading to change. Journal of Military Learning, 80-94.
  • Baker, V. L., Lunsford, L. G., & Pifer, M. J. (2018). Faculty development in liberal arts colleges: A look at divisional trends, preferences, and needs. Higher Education Research & Development, 37(7), 1336-1351. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2018.1483901
  • Pifer, M. J. (2018). His, hers, and ours: Gendered roles in academic departments. NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 11(2), 109-129, doi: 10.1080/19407882.2018.1423573
  • Sun, J. C., Pifer, M. J., *Gerber, B., *Bugajski, N. (2018, March). Pitch perfect 3 (cadets, cadre, and college): ROTC partnerships that advance our shared mission. Paper presented at the NASPA Annual Conference. Philadelphia, PA.
  • Lunsford, L. G., Baker, V. L., & Pifer, M. J. (2018). Faculty mentoring faculty: Career stages, relationship quality, and job satisfaction. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 7(2), 139-154. doi:10.1108/IJMCE-08-2017-0055
  • Baker, V. L., Lunsford, L. G., & Pifer, M. J. (2017). Developing faculty in liberal arts colleges: Aligning individual needs and organizational goals. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Sun, J. C., *Colston, J., & Pifer, M. J. (2017, November). Codeswitching among Army cadre: Perceived critical aspects for a college degree as an interactional resource in higher education. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Houston, TX.