The Hook Center for Educational Leadership and District Renewal was founded at the University of Missouri’s College of Education in 2004 to focus on improving the governance, leadership, and management of schools. Drawing on the college’s broad pool of talented researchers, practitioners, associated partners, and collaborating school districts, the Hook Center transforms knowledge gained from research and practice into innovative processes, trainings, and tools that help educators more effectively lead, operate, and improve schools.

The Hook Center’s improvement focus areas are systems, processes, and people:

  • Systems –embracing sustainable continuous improvement by focusing on the connections between educators and the processes and strategies they use to lead and manage individual programs, departments, schools, districts, or colleges.
  • Processes –identifying, defining, applying, and improving processes to support innovative and effective school leadership and governance at all levels.
  • People –providing and supporting impactful talent development for school and district leaders, board members, and their educator colleagues.

The Hook center started with an endowment from the late Harold S. Hook, a corporate leader in the insurance and financial services markets, who distilled a lifetime of key executive management concepts into standardized, codified, and taught curricula that could be easily studied, measured, and universally communicated through defined concepts and processes, using a common vocabulary. Harold Hook’s fundamental principle of organizational improvement: that work cannot be understood or maximally impactful until its processes are defined, shared, and followed, strongly informs and supports continuous quality improvement work in schools of all types. The Hook Center focuses on systemic elevation of performance in part by capturing the effective practices in school leadership, management, and operation and then translating these models into broadly shared, readily understood, actionable strategies and processes to help continuously improve schools.


Learn more about the Hook Center