Skip to Content

College of Education

Faculty and Staff

Henry Tran, MPA, SHRM-CP, PHR, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Leadership, Learning Design, and Inquiry
College of Education
Phone: 803-777-1503

Wardlaw 306


Journal of Education Human Resources (Editor)

Talent Centered Education Leadership Initiative (Director)

Ed.D w/ a concentration in Education Systems Improvement (Program Coordinator)

Henry Tran, Ph.D.


Henry Tran is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina’s Department of Leadership, Learning Design, and Inquiry who studies issues related to education human resources (HR) and finance. He has published numerous articles on the topics, including several with students. He holds two national HR certifications and served on the Board of Advisors and Board of Trustees for the National Education Finance Academy. He is also the editor of the Journal of Education Human Resources, the Director of the Talent Centered Education Leadership Initiative, Program coordinator for the Ed.D with a concentration in Education Systems Improvement.

Prior to his professorship, Tran served as an HR practitioner in both the private sector and in public education. He draws from both experiences in his research and teaching.


Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education (with an emphasis in School Organization and Education Policy) from University of California Davis

Masters in Public Administration (with a concentration in Public Human Resources Management) from California State University East Bay

Bachelors of the Arts (B.A.) in Psychology from San Francisco State University

Certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR)

Society of Human Resource Management - Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

Areas of Expertise

Education Strategic Human Resources Management, Education Finance and Quantitative Methods

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

Note: Underlined text denotes graduate students

Tran, H., Cunningham, K., Hardie, S., Taylor, T., & Sauls, R. (2023).  Seeing the Visibly Invisible: An Intersectional Analysis of The Employee Experiences of Black Female Rural Educators. Teachers College Record. In Press. Retrieved from

Ingersoll, R., & Tran, H., (2023). Teacher Shortages and Turnover in Rural Schools: A National Portrait. Educational Administration Quarterly. In press.  

 Tran, H., Babaei, S., Smith, D. (2022). The Promises and Pitfalls of Government Funded Teacher Staffing Initiatives on Teacher Employment in Hard-To-Staff Schools. Evidence From South Carolina. Policy Futures in Education. 14782103221135891.

Tran, H., & Jenkins, Z. (2022). Embracing the Future of Education Work with Talent Centered Education Leadership. Journal of Education Human Resources40(2), 266-276.

 Tran, H. (2022). Revolutionizing school HR strategies and practices to reflect talent centered education leadership. Leadership and Policy in Schools21(2), 238-252.

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2021). Tran, H., & Smith, D. A. (2021). How Hard-to-Staff Rural School Districts Use State Funds to Address Teacher Shortages. Journal of Education Finance, 47(2), 130-156.

 Tran,. & Buckman, D. (2021). A Descriptive Analysis of High Need Districts' Inequitable Access to Talent-centered Education HR Systems. AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice. Fall 2021 issue. Retrieved from

Aziz, M., & Tran, H. (2021). Enhancing institutional competitiveness: The CERTi Approach to Assessing Faculty Research Development Efforts in Higher Education. Journal of Research Administration. In Press.

 Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2020). Talent Centered Education Leadership: Using the Employee Experience to Improve Teacher-School Relations. Journal of Cases in Education Leadership, 24(1), 42-54. Retrieved from

Tran, H., Hardie, S., & Cunningham, K. (2020). Leading with empathy and humanity. Why Talent-Centred Education Leadership is especially critical amidst the pandemic crisis. ISEA, 48(1), 39-45.

Tran, H., & Smith, D. A. (2020). What Matters Most for Recruiting Teachers to Rural Hard-to-Staff Districts: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Employment-Related Conditions. American Journal of Education126(3), 447-481. Retrieve from

Tran, H., Aziz, M., & Reinhardt, S.F. (2020). Rage Against the Machine: The Legacy of Education Leaders’ Valiant Struggle for Social Justice in Abbeville vs. South Carolina. Journal of School Leadership. Retrieved from

Tran, H. & Smith, D. (2020). Designing an Employee Experience Approach to Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Hard-to-Staff Schools. NASSP Bulletin. 104(2), 85-109. Retrieved from

 Tran, H., Buckman, D. & Johnson, A. (2020). Using the Hiring Process to Improve the Cultural Responsiveness of Schools. Journal of Cases in Education Leadership, 23(2), 70-84. Retrieved from

Tran, H., Hardie, S., Gause, S., Moyi, P. & Ylimaki, R. (2020). Leveraging the perspectives of rural educators to develop realistic job previews for rural teacher recruitment and retention. The Rural Educator, 41(2), 31-46.

Tran, H., & Buckman, D. (2020). The Relationship between Districts' Teacher Salary Schedule Structures and the Qualifications of their Teacher Staffing Profile. Journal of School Administration Research and Development, 5 (1). Retrieved from

Tran, H., & Dou, J. (2019). An Exploratory Examination of What Types of Administrative Support Matter for Rural Teacher Talent Management: The Rural Educator Perspective. Educational Leadership Review, 20(1), 133-149. Retrieved from

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2019). Insufficient money and inadequate respect: What obstructs the recruitment of college students to teach in hard-to-staff schools. Journal of Educational Administration57(2), 152-166.

Tran, H., Platt, C.S., Sumpter, R., & Nallo, S. (2020). Engineering Faculty Diversity Initiatives at Research Intensive Institutions: What’s used and has it worked? Journal of Negro Education. In Press.

Tran, H., McCormick, J., & Nguyen, T.  (2018). The cost of replacing South Carolina high school principals. Management in Education32(3), 109-118. Can be accessed at

Jarrett, P., Tran, H., & Buckman, D.G. (2018). The Effects of Sex and Professional Experience on Superintendent Selection Decisions by School Board Chairsperson. Journal of Scholarship and Practice. Spring 2018. Retrieved from'_Gender_and_Professional_Experience_Influence_Superintendent_Selection_Decisions/links/5ae9a6830f7e9b837d3bb52a/Do-Candidates-Gender-and-Professional-Experience-Influence-Superintendent-Selection-Decisions.pdf

Buckman, D., & Tran, H. (2018). Internal and External Elementary Principal Hiring and Minimal Student Achievement: A 5-year cohort model. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 13(1). Retrieved from

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2017). The Impact of Employer Sponsored Educational Assistance Benefits on Community College Student Outcomes. Journal of Student Financial Aid, 47(2), 83-100. Can be accessed at

Tran, H. (2017). Does the Pay Stance of South Carolina Public School Districts Influence their Math and Science Achievement Scores? Journal of Education Finance, 43(2), 105-122.

Tran, H. & Bon, S. (2016). Principal Quality and Selection: Including Multiple Stakeholders’ Perspectives. Journal of School Public Relations 37(1), 55-78.

Tran, H. (2016). The Impact of Pay Satisfaction on High School Principals’ Turnover Intentions. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 45(4), Can be accessed at 

Tran, H., & Buckman, D. G. (2016). The Impact of Principal Movement and School Achievement on Principal Salaries. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 16(1), 106-129. Can be accessed at

Buckman, D.G., Tran, H., & Young, I.P. (2016). Does Collective Bargaining Influence the Pay Satisfaction of Elementary School Teachers? AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice, 13 (1).

Tran, H. (2015). Personnel vs. Strategic Human Resource Management in Public Education. Management in Education, 29(3), 112-118. Can be accessed at

Tran, H., & Bon, S. (2015). Assessing Multiple Stakeholders' Perceptions of an Effective Principal Evaluation System. Education Leadership Review, 16(2), 1-15

Tran, H. & Young, I.P. (2013). An Efficiency Assessment among Empirically Defined Labor Markets for Determining Pay for Teachers. Journal of School Public Relations, 34(2), 139-161

Peer-Reviewed Published Textbooks

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2022) (Eds). The Decay of the Teaching Profession. Information Age Publishing. 

Tran, H. (2018). Taking the Mystery Out of South Carolina School Finance. 2nd Edition. ICPEL Publications. Ypsilanti, Michigan. 

Tran, H. (2016). Taking the Mystery Out of South Carolina School Finance. NCPEA Press. Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Tran, H., Smith, D., & Buckman, D. (Eds.). (2020). Stake Holder Engagement: Improving Education through Multi-level Community Relations. Rowman & Littlefield. In Press. 

Selected Presentations

Note: Underlined text denotes graduate students

Tran, H. (2021). Spotlight on Talent-centered Education Leadership: Creating more inclusive education work spaces. Chaired presidential session at the 2021 AERA conference.

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2019). Diminishing Respect Diminishes the Teaching Pool for Rural Hard-to-Staff Schools. Paper accepted for presentation at 2019 AERA.

Smith, D., Tran, H., Platt, S., Sumpter, R., & Fox, E. (2019). Research and Scholarly Developments: Application for Community and Technical College Practice. Presented at 2019 South Carolina Technical Education Association Conference.

Ylimaki, R., Brunderman, L., Tran, H., Moyi, P., Hradie, S., &. Dou, J. (2018). Building Leadership Capacity for Evidenced-Based School Development in underperforming Arizona and South Carolina Schools. Paper presented at 2018 UCEA.

Tran, H., & Kelley, Carolyn. (2018). PSEL/NELP Leadership Preparation Series focused on Human Resources and Strategic Talent Management. Paper presented at 2018 UCEA.

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2018). Administrative Support Matters: Utility of Employment Related Conditions. Paper presented at 2018 UCEA.

Buckman, D., & Tran, H. (2018). The relationship between internal and external principal promotion on school minimal achievement. Presented at the 2018 ICPEL conference.

Tran, H. (2018). The Benefits of Frontloaded Teacher Salary Schedule for Student Retention and Employment of Qualified Teachers. Presented at the 2018 National Education Finance Conference.

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2018). Comparison of different Compensation Factors for Recruiting South Carolina Rural Teachers. Presented at the National Finance Conference in 2018.

Irvin, M., Tran, H., Smith, D., Lotter, C., Sokol, A.E. (2018). Rural Teacher Recruitment, leadership, and Place-Based Education in South Carolina. (2018). Presented at South Carolina Educators for the Practical Use of Research in 2018.

Tran, H., Platt, S., Sumpter, R., Nallo, B., & Hutto, M. (2017). Engineering Faculty Diversity Initiatives. Association for the Study of Higher Education 2017.

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2017). Addressing Talent Management in our Education System: A Case for Teacher Recruitment and Retention. Panel Symposium. Center for Innovation in Higher Education.

Tran, H. (2017). The cost of replacing high school principals in South Carolina. Paper presented at the 2017 National Education Finance Conference.

Tran, H. (2016). Do South Carolina public school districts’ teacher market pay stance influence math and science achievement scores. Paper presented at the 2016 National Education Finance Conference.

Tran, H. & Smith, D. (2016). Section 127 of the internal revenue code (26 U.S.C. 127): Employee education assistance and the community college. Paper presentation at the 2016 Council for the Study of Community Colleges Conference.

Tran, H. & Bon, S. (2015). Assessing Multiple Stakeholders’ Perceptions of an Effective Principal Evaluation System Paper presented at the 2015 National Council of Professors of Educational Administration Conference.

Tran, H. (2015). Does District Performance and the Regional Labor Market Influence How Districts Pay Principals in California. Paper presented at the 2015 National Education Finance Conference.

Tran H., & Buckman, D. G. (2015). Do Principal Movement and School Achievement predict Principal Salaries? Paper presented at the 2015 National Education Finance Conference.

Buckman, D., & Tran, H. (2015). The Impact of Collective Bargaining on Elementary School Pay Satisfaction. Paper presented at the 2015 National Council of Professors of Educational Administration.

Tran, H., & Smith. D. (2015). Performance Accountability and Determination of Faculty Salaries. Paper presented at 2015 Council for the Study of Community Colleges Conference.


Note: Underlined text denotes graduate students

Tran, H., Smith, D., & Fox, E. (2018). The Perspectives of Potential and Current Rural Teachers for Rural Teacher Recruitment and Retention in South Carolina. University of South Carolina’s Center for Innovation in Education Report. Can be accessed at


American Educational Research Association [AERA] National Education School Reform and Turnaround Emerging Scholar Award, 2019

National Education Finance Academy Distinguished Fellow Award. 2017

Early Career Award in Research, College of Education at University of South Carolina. 2016

Best Paper Award Winner from the International Conference on Learning and Administration in Higher Education 2015   

Media Mentions

Brandhorst, C. (2023, January 4). A teachable moment. Breakthrough. Retrieved from

Academic Minute. (2022, October 25). Improving the Attractiveness of the Teaching Profession through Talent-centered Education Leadership. Retrieved from

Alonso, J. (2022, October 13). Pinning Hopes on Future Educators. Inside Higher Education. Retrieved from

Tran, H. (2022, September 20). A Pillar of Research Publication Integrity: The Peer Review Process. Retrieved from

Knox, L. (2022, August 29). Teacher Education Programs Desperately Seek Students. Inside Higher Education. Retrieved from

Jonsson, P. (2022, August 23). More cash, fewer requirements: States scramble for teachers. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from

Live Interview on C-Span Washington Journal on August 13, 2022.

Tran, H., & Smith, D. (2022, August 8). The most recent efforts to combat teacher shortages don’t address the real problems. The Conversations. Retrieved from

Merrell, A. (2022, August 8). Lawmakers are solving the wrong problem in teacher shortage, experts say. Channel 5 ABC news. Retrieved from

Lieberman, M. (2022, June 15). It’s Hard to See the Perks’: Schools Face Tough Sell in Filling Key jobs. Edweek. Retrieved from

Edweek. (2022, June 15). Staffing our schools. Why Staffing Schools is Harder Than Ever. Retrieved from

Williams, G. (2022, January 27). The Top U.S. Cities for Job Seekers in 2021. Money Geek. Retrieved from

Gewertz, C. (2021, December 16). Hiring Students to Ease Staffing Shortages: One School District’s Unorthodox Solution. Edweek. Retrieved from

Gewertz, C. (2021, December 16). ‘Kind of Surreal’: A student cleans Floors at her Old Middle School. Edweek. Retrieved from

Lieberman, M. (2021, September 20). No Bus Drivers, Custodians, or Subs. What’s Really Behind Schools’ Staffing Shortages? EdWeek. Retrieved from

Kiernan, J. (2020). School Reopening Survey: 55% of Parents Want In-Person Learning. Wallethub. Retrieved from

Daprile, L. (2019). Superintendent Salaries have soared while SC’s teacher shortage grew, data show.

McCann, A. (2019). 2019’s Best & Worst Community Colleges. WalletHub. Retrieved from

Zhu, M. (2018). It’s not just teacher retention; School principal turnover is also concerning. WATCH FOX. Retrieved from

Dubensky, B. (2018). Replacing South Carolina high school principals costly for school districts. South Carolina Radio Network. Retrieved from

Bowers, P. (2018). Cost of replacing a South carolina principal: $24,000, says a new study. Post and Courier. Retrieved from

Love, I. (2017).Employer tuition assistance boosts student success, provides revenue to community colleges. The Association of Community College Trustees. Perspectives. Retrieved from

Classes Taught

  • Fields Problems in Education Administration (Introduction to Research Design) 
  • Advanced Educational Policy Analysis
  • Financial Aspects of Higher Education 
  • Introduction to Educational Administration
  • School Personnel Administration
  • School Finance and Business Management

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.