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Dr. Karri Holley

Professor, Higher Education
Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies


  • Graduate and doctoral education
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Organizational change
  • Qualitative inquiry


  • Comparative higher education studies
  • Organizational innovation


  • PhD, Higher Education, University of Southern California
  • MEd, Higher Education, University of Southern California
  • BA, Communication Studies and English, The University of Alabama


  • 2020 UA Bama By Distance Research Fellow
  • 2019 UA College of Education Nellie Rose McCrory Faculty Excellence in Research Award


Dr. Karri Holley is Professor of Higher Education at The University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D. and M.Ed. from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. from The University of Alabama. Her research broadly examines the organizational, cultural, and economic influences on the structure and processes of the contemporary university, with an emphasis on graduate education. Holley has also written extensively on interdisciplinary work in higher education as well as narrative structure and the writing process related to qualitative inquiry.

She currently works on several grant-funded projects focused on interdisciplinary graduate education, degree completion in STEM fields, international higher education development, and education evaluation. Her previous professional experiences include a career in graduate admissions at Pepperdine University, and also service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. She has held several leadership roles in national associations, including chair of the AERA Graduate and Postdoctoral Education across the Disciplines SIG and a member of the program committees for both ASHE and AERA.

Holley served as editor for Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education from 2014-2022. The journal focuses on scholarship and practice related to graduate education, including master’s and doctoral level, and postdoctoral experiences. The journal publishes scholarly articles from a range of academic disciplines and research methods that represent issues of interest to the international community.