Higher Purpose – Higher Education

Madonna University’s Higher Education Administration Program (HEA) prepares students to make a difference in the educational experience and personal development of diverse student populations.  HEA’s convenient, part time, online or on ground program expands critical thinking, leadership, and management skills needed for successful careers across different functional areas in colleges and universities.  

Advancing foundational understanding, analysis, application, and evaluation of key concepts, principles, and critical issues in the field, HEA integrates theory with real-world, culturally relevant, and evidence-based practices to position its students to proactively address complex issues in higher education and society. 

HEA Program Video




Educational Leadership (MSEL)

This program offers educational experiences to enhance your role as a teacher, principal, coordinator, or department chair.

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Faculty Bios

Jason O. DavisGraduate Program Director, HEA
Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Oakland University

M.P.A., University of Michigan-Dearborn

B.A., University of Michigan-Dearborn


734-432-5736, Room 2228G

Jason O. Davis

Dr. Jason O. Davis brings a decade of higher education leadership in external relations, advancement, and community engagement to the HEA program. A passionate bridge-builder, Dr. Davis has leveraged his rapport with alumni, donors, community organizations, and corporations to expand experiential learning, professional development, and career exploration opportunities for the students he served. He is a two-time recipient of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's (CASE) Circle of Excellence Awards for outstanding student-alumni programming. He has presented at the CASE Region V Conference on the topics of student philanthropy and young alumni engagement. Most recently, Dr. Davis served as the Assistant Director of External Engagement at the University of Michigan's Center for Entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Davis also served as the Director of Operations and Development at the El-Hibri Foundation, a private philanthropy committed to advancing inclusion in America. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational leadership from Oakland University where he studied the impact of difficult dialogues on subconscious biases regarding religion. He earned his M.P.A. from University of Michigan-Dearborn with a focus in nonprofit leadership. 

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Christine BensonVice President of Student Affairs and Mission Integration 
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Michigan State University

M.A.T., Madonna University

B.A., Madonna University


734-432-5867, Room 1113

Christine Benson

Dr. Chris Benson brings more than sixteen years of higher education experience in student affairs, retention, and academic affairs. Dr. Benson currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Madonna University. She has oversight of student conduct, career development, student life, residence life, counseling and disability resources, and transitions services. Dr. Benson serves as an institutional representative for the American Council on Education Women's Network, MIchigan (MI-ACE) and the regional representative for the Michigan division of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA-MI).

Dr. Benson also has served as Title IX Coordinator and Graduate Program Director for the Higher Education Administration master’s program, which she co-created. Chris earned her Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University. She earned a master’s in teaching and learning from Madonna University.

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Cliff CampAssistant Vice President & Dean of Students
Adjunct Assistant Professor

J.D., Western Michigan University

M.P.A., Eastern Michigan University

B.S., Eastern Michigan University


734-432-5829, Room 1113

Cliff Camp

Cliff Camp brings nearly a decade of experience working with various regulatory compliance requirements; policy drafting, development, and implementation; training; and assessment in a higher education setting. Cliff teaches HEA’s Law and Policy course, EDU 6340, in which he ensures students have the opportunity to apply the concepts they learn in the course through practical exercises such as conducting a policy gap analysis, drafting a policy, and creating a compliance training presentation for a higher education institution.

These experiences provide students with a tangible deliverable to share with current or future employers demonstrating their ability to navigate the complex legal and regulatory environment within higher education.

Cliff received his B.S. and M.P.A. degrees from Eastern Michigan University and his J.D. degree from Western Michigan University – Thomas M. Cooley Law School and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Public Administration at Western Michigan University.

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Nyanatee BaileyAdjunct Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Eastern Michigan University (exp. 2023)

M.A., Eastern Michigan University

B.A., University of Michigan-Dearborn


Nyanatee Bailey

Mr. Nyanatee Bailey has spent the past eight years of his career in higher education. He currently serves as the Senior Intercultural Programs advisor at the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In this role, he develops, coordinates, and advises for International Education programs across five continents, with a focus on holistic student growth and development. Nyanatee has a passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and his work is predicated on eradicating the systemic biases that create inequitable educational opportunities for students from historically underrepresented communities. 

Nyanatee earned his B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in African & African-American Studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, as well as a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University with a focus on higher education student affairs. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Eastern Michigan University where his research focus is on the efficacy of the chief diversity officer role, throught the lens of Critical Race Theory and organizational change frameworks. 

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Scott Meyer-Kukan

Coordinator of Directed Teaching

Ph.D., Eastern Michigan University

M.S., University of Michigan

M.S., Walden University

B.A., University of Michigan


734-432-5790, Room 2230F

Scott Meyer-Kukan

Stewart Wood is the Associate Dean for University Assessment, Professor of Education, and Chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee. Stewart joined the full-time faculty at Madonna University in 1994. He teaches Educational Research and Practice in the HEA program, drawing on his expertise in teaching and learning theory, educational psychology, lifelong learning, achievement motivation, and assessment.

Dr. Wood is an active member of the American Educational Research Association and serves as a reviewer for the Lilly Conferences on College Teaching. Dr. Wood has served on numerous advisory boards and published articles in Phi Delta Kappan and the Journal of Early Adolescence. Stewart earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Michigan and M.Ed. from the University of Sheffield, U.K.

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Matthew Rheinecker
Vice President of University Advancement
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Ph.D., The University of Toledo

M.Ed., Bowling Green State University

B.A., Siena Heights University


734-432-5762, Room WC207-B

Matthew Rheinecker

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