Michael R. Ford

Assistant Professor of Public Administration

Peer Reviewed Articles


  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D.(Accepted Manuscript).Comparing School Board Governing Dynamics in Small Rural and Suburban Districts. Public Administration Quarterly.

  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D.(Accepted Manuscript). School Board Member Strategic Planning Prioritization and School District Performance. Leadership and Policy in Schools.
  • Ford, M. & Andersson, F. (2019). Sources of Isomorphism in the Milwaukee Voucher School Sector.  Public Policy and Administration.  
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2018). Third Party Governance Training and Voucher School Performance.  Journal of School Choice.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2018). Perceptions are Reality: A Framework for Understanding Governance.  Administrative Theory & Praxis.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2018). Determinants of Priority Conflict on City School Boards. Urban Education. 
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2018). Linking the Distribution of Board-Executive Governance Responsibilities To Charter School Performance. International Journal of Organizational Analysis.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2017). Bridging the Charter School Accountability Divide: Defining a Role for Nonprofit Charter School Boards. Education and Urban Society.  
  • Ford, M. & Andersson, F.  (2017) Taking Stock and Moving Forward: Lessons from Two Plus Decades of Research on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.  Journal of School Choice.
  • Ihrke, D. and Ford, M. (2017).  Board Development Practices on Public Versus Nonprofit School Boards:
  • Is There a Difference?  Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership.
  • Andersson, F. & Ford, M. (2017).  Entry Barriers and Nonprofit Founding Rates: An Examination of the Milwaukee Voucher School Population.  Nonprofit Policy Forum.
  • Ford, M. & Andersson, F. (2017) Determinants of Organizational Performance in a Reinventing Government Setting: Evidence from the Milwaukee School Voucher Program. Public Management Review.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2017) School Board Member Definitions of Accountability: A Comparison of Charter and Traditional Public School Board Members.  Journal of Educational Administration.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2017). Board Conflict and Public Performance on Urban and Non-Urban Boards: Evidence From a National Sample of School Board Members.  Journal of Urban Affairs, 39(1).
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2016) The Impact of Wisconsin’s Act 10 on Municipal Management in Smaller Municipalities: Views from Local Elected Officials.  Public Policy and Administration. 
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2016) Differences in School Board Member Relations with Hired and Elected Superintendents: A First Look.  International Review of Public Administration.
  • Ford, M. (2016). Funding Impermanence: Quantifying the Public Funds Sent to Closed Schools in the Nation’s First Urban School Voucher Program.  Public Administration Quarterly, 4(4).
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2016). Understanding School Boards and Their Use of Different Models of Governance.  Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 2(2), 67-81.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2016) Comparing Nonprofit Charter and Traditional Public School Board Member Perceptions of the Public, Conflict, and Financial Responsibility: Is There a Difference and Does it Matter? Public Management Review, 18(7), 972-992.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke  D.(2016). Are we on the same page? Determinants of school board member understanding of group accountability perceptions.  Public Organization Review, DOI: 10.1007/s11115-016-0350-6.
  • Ford, M. & Andersson, F. (2016). Determinants of Organizational Failure in the Milwaukee School Voucher Program.  Policy Studies Journal, DOI: 10.1111/psj.12164.
  • Ford, M. (2016). Milwaukee Voucher School Leaders’ Views on Accountability:  What Are They, and Why do They Matter?  Leadership and Policy in Schools, DOI: 10.1080/15700763.2016.1181189.
  • Ford, M, D. Ihrke, N. Grasse, & Brian Cherry (2016).  Perceptions of Council Member-Department Head Interactions in Local Government.  Journal of Public Affairs, DOI: 10.1002/pa.1597.
  • Ford, M. & Andersson, F. (2016).  Organizational Failure in the Hollow State: Lessons from the Milwaukee Voucher Experience. International Journal of Public Administration, DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2015.1053613.
  • Ford, M. (2015).  Governing for Results on a Post-Collective Bargaining Wisconsin School Board.  Journal of School Choice, 9(4), 529-550.
  • Ford, M. (2015).  Nailing Shut the Policy Window:  The Policy Evolution of America’s First Urban School Voucher Program.  Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 1(2), 97-99.
  • ​Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2015). School Board Member Definitions of Accountability:  What are they, and Do they Impact District Outcomes? Public Performance & Management Review, 39(1), 198-222.
  • ​Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2015).  Determinants of Conflict on Wisconsin School Boards.  Public Policy and Administration, DOI: 10.1177/0952076715610414.
  • Ford, M. (2015). A Faith-Based Advantage?  Comparing the Academic and Fundraising Performance of Sectarian and Non-Sectarian Nonprofit Schools In Milwaukee’s School Voucher Program.  Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 26(1), 91-104.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2015). Do School Board Governance Best Practices Improve District Performance?  Testing the Key Work of School Boards in Wisconsin. International Journal of Public Administration, 39(2), 87-94.
  • Ford, M. & Ihrke, D. (2015). A Comparison of Public and Charter School Board Governance in Three States.  Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 25(4), 403-416.
  • Andersson, F. & Ford, M. (2015) Social entrepreneurship through an organizational ecology lens: Examining the emergence and evolution of the voucher school population in Milwaukee. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, DOI: 10.1007/s11266-015-9576-0. 
  • Andersson, F. & Ford, M. (2014) Reframing Social Entrepreneurship Impact: Productive, Unproductive and Destructive Outputs and Outcomes of the Milwaukee School Voucher Programme, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 6(3), 299-219.
  • Ford, M. (2014). Changes in School Enrollment Patterns After the First-Time Release of School-Level Test Scores in Milwaukee’s School Voucher Program A First Look. Education and Urban Society, doi: 0013124514536439.
  • Ford, M., & Merrifield, J. (2013). School Choice Legislation: Impact Assessment and Fiscal Notes. Journal of School Choice, 7(1), 37-60.
  • ​Ford, M. (2011). School Exits in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Evidence of a Marketplace? Journal of School Choice, 5(2), 182-204.


Encyclopedia Entries


  • Ford, M. (2017). Organizational Life Cycles.  Entry in Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, ed. Ali Farazmand.
  • Ford, M. (2017). Population Ecology Theory of Organizations.  Entry in Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, ed. Ali Farazmand.