Nicholas J. Pace Professor & Department Chair
Ed.D. Educational Leadership, University of Northern Iowa, 2005
M.S.E., Educational Administration, Drake University, 1997
B.A., Sociology, University of Northern Iowa, 1992
Dr. Pace joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017 as professor and chair of the Department of Educational Administration.
His research focuses primarily on the principalship. He has researched and written on the school experiences of gay and lesbian students, as well as the use of role play activities, case studies, and other tools in the preparation of school leaders. His most recent project is a second edition of a book entitled, The Principal’s Hot Seat Observing Real-World Dilemmas which features video footage of an authentic role play exercise for principals, was published in 2022 with co-authors Drs. Shavonna Holman and Cailen O'Shea. Other books include Reality Calling and Seeking Balance, which tell the story of a fictional principal’s first year on the job. Dr. Pace’s other scholarly interests include school administrator wellness and the ways school leaders seek to grow and improve their leadership practice. In addition, Dr. Pace has an interest in qualitative research, mentoring, inclusivity, and school culture and climate.
He has taught a variety of courses related to change leadership, orientation to school administration and standards for administrators, the principalship, human relations, and activities/extra-curricular programming, and administrators’ use of technology.
Prior to arriving at Nebraska, Dr. Pace served as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), and as a middle and high school principal, teacher, coach, and as a mental health social worker.
Areas of Expertise
- School culture and climate
- School administrator wellness and life balance
Dr. Pace advises students who are completing qualitative dissertations related to P-12 school leadership.
- Diehl-Yang, C. & Pace, N. J. (2018). I didn’t see this coming. In D. Griffith & J. Ryan (Eds.), Case studies for inclusive educators and leaders.Burlington, Canada: Word & Deed Publishing
- Pace, N. J. (2014). Seeking balance: The story of a principal’s second semester. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.
- Pace, N. J. (2013). Reality calling: The story of a principal’s first semester. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.
- Pace, N. J. (2011). The principal’s hot seat: Observing real-world dilemmas. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.
- Pace, N. J. (2009). The principal’s challenge: Learning from gay and lesbian students. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
- Pace, N. J. & Gilson, T. W. (2013). Champion or chump: Using a book-length case study to evaluate a mythical principal. Educational Leadership Review. 14(1).
- Olsen, H. M. & Pace, N. J. (2013). Playing for keeps. American School Board Journal, 200(7), 31-32.
- Abrego, J., Abrego M., Gilson, T. Pace, N., Selke, M., & Smith P. (2013). Graduate program redesign for the preparation of 21st Century educational leaders. Southern Journal of Education Administration, 2(1), 15-30.
- Lasswell, T. A., Pace, N. J. & Reed, G. A. (2008). Weighing in: Rural Iowa principal’s perceptions of state-mandated teaching evaluation standards. The Rural Educator, 29(3), 40-44.
- Pace, N. J., Lasswell, T. A. & Reed, G. A. (2008). Evaluation as usual? Iowa principal’s perceptions of state-mandated teaching and evaluation standards. Iowa Educational Leadership, X(1), 7-12.
- Pace, N. J. (2007). I’ve completely changed: The transforming impact of the Matthew Shepard Scholarship. Journal of Advanced Academics, 18(3), 344-371. (peer reviewed)
- Pace, N. J. (2005). Safe proms in high-risk times. The Education Digest, 70(7), 45-51.
- Pace, N. J. (2004). Gay, rural, and coming out: A case study of one school’s experience. The Rural Educator, 23(3), 14-18.
- Pace, N. J. (2004). You’ve gotta’ talking him out of it. Principal Leadership, 4(9), 34-39.
- Robinson, V. L., Blaine, T, & Pace, N. J. (2004). Voices in the hallways: Three rural Iowa schools. The Rural Educator, 25(3), 1-4.
Dr. Pace is currently working on a second edition of The Principal’s Hot Seat: Observing Real-World Dilemmas in collaboration with Drs. Shavonna Holman and Cailen O’Shea.
- EDAD 948: Instructional Leadership: Emerging Practices and Trends
- EDAD 811: Principal Practicum