University of Calgary

J. Kent Donlevy

  • Professor

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Dr. Donlevy, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. (Thesis), Ph.D. (Educational Administration) and J.D. (University of Saskatchewan), is a professor in the Werklund School of Education and former Associate Dean of the Graduate Division of Educational Research at the University of Calgary. He was for many years the Chair of the University of Calgary Research Ethics Appeal Board and is the Grievance Advisor for the Faculty Association at that University. He teaches ethics and law, is an annual lecturer in the civil litigation course in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta, as well as a frequently invited lecturer and debater at the Centre for Constitutional Studies in that Faculty. He has presented at the Legal Education Society of Alberta, advised law firms in both Alberta and Saskatchewan on both tortious and constitutional issues in schools, having been retained as an expert in those areas for litigation purposes, and been consulted by both Saskatchewan Justice and Alberta Justice on matters of educational and constitutional law. Most recently he has assisted a national Canadian law firm in the preparation of a (successful) amicus curiae factum on an appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

He has been an invited lecturer at the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, Ambrose University, University of Saskatchewan, Queen’s University, York University, University of New Brunswick, Memorial University, St. John’s University (New York), Fordham University (New York), and the University of Southern California. He has been acknowledged by the editor of the Education and Law Journal as one of two scholars “if not the, leading Canadian scholar in Education Law.”

Dr. Donlevy has been a K-12 teacher in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, a school principal, and a negotiator for the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation and the Alberta Teachers’ Association. He has been a member of the Saskatchewan Law Society since 1985 and, many years ago, litigated cases in the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, and the Supreme Court of Canada. He is qualified at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta as an expert witness involving educational law in both constitutional and tortious matters. 


Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Donlevy has published over 54 peer reviewed articles in various jurisdictions (Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia) and has co-authored the Guides to Alberta School Law, Saskatchewan School Law, Ontario School Law, and is currently completing with colleagues from Queen’s University and the University of Saskatchewan, the Guide to Prince Edward Island School Law. One of his most recent publications is a peer-reviewed article in the Supreme Court of Canada Law Review.  

Current Projects:

Dr. Donlevy has been awarded a Killam Resident Fellowship Award and been acknowledged by the University of McGill Journal of Education as a recipient of its best article published in 2005. His current research is threefold: (1) Student-on-Student Violence in Alberta’s Schools where he is the Principal Investigator working with colleagues from University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge, Red Deer University, and a chief of police from an Alberta police service. This is a three-stage study with the current second stage funded jointly by the Alberta Ministries of Justice and Education; (2) Preparation of two guides on school law: Guide to Newfoundland and Labrador School Law, Guide to School Law in Canada’s Territories; (3) Researching “A Comparative Study: the corporate right to freedom of religion in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Court of Human Rights. 


B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. (Thesis), Ph.D. (Educational Administration) and J.D. (University of Saskatchewan).

Professional & Community Affiliations

Saskatchewan Law Society

Canadian Bar Association 

Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law and Education

Education Law Association (USA)

Australian and New Zealand Education Law Association 

European Association for Education Law and Policy

St. Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild – Northern Alberta Branch

Runnymede Society – Lawyers’ Chapter - Alberta

Alberta Teachers’ Association (Permanent)

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (Permanent)

American Educational Research Association

National Catholic Educational Association (USA)

Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (Canada)

Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (USA)

Publications (Selected)

Abela, G., & Donlevy, J. K. (2020). Violence in Alberta’s urban schools: The perspectives of school resource officers. Education and Law Journal, 29(1), 1–26.

Donlevy, J. K., & Gereluk, D. (2019). A clash of positive and negative liberty: Denying accreditation to Trinity Western Law School. International Journal of Law and Education, 2, 18–31.

Donlevy, J. K., Gereluk, D., & Brandon, J. (2018). Trigger warnings, freedom of speech, and academic freedom in higher education. Education and Law Journal, 28, 1–41.

Donlevy, J. K., Brandon, J., & Gereluk, D. (2018). School trustees acting badly and freedom of expression under the Charter. Education and Law Journal, 27(2), 125–143.

Donlevy, J. K., Gereluk, D., Brandon, J., & Patterson, P. (2017). Student drivers and the fiduciary duty of school boards. Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, 48(2),195–203.

Donlevy, J. K., & Feehan, K. P. & Bowal, P. (2016). A community’s right to freedom of religion: Loyola High School v. Quebec. Supreme Court of Canada Law Review (2nd Series), 75, 163–178. 

Donlevy, J. K., Gereluk, D., Patterson, P., & Brandon, J. (2013). Freedom of conscience and Catholic schools. Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, 44(3), 241–255.

Walker, K. W., & Donlevy, J. K. (2009). The four ethical commitments in educational administration. The Journal of Educational Thought, 43(2), 109–131.

Donlevy, J. K. (2004). Value pluralism and negative freedom in Canadian education: The Surrey and Trinity cases. McGill Journal of Education, 39(3), 305–332.


  • 2017         Teaching Excellence Award, Werklund School of Education Students’ Union

    2013         John Ranton Visiting Scholar, University of Saskatchewan

    2013         Teaching Excellence Award, Students’ Union, University of Calgary (Honourable Mention)

    2012         Teaching Excellence Award, Students’ Union, University of Calgary

    2007         Graduate Supervision Excellence Award, Graduate Students’ Association, University of Calgary (Nominated)

    2007         Teaching Excellence Award, Students’ Union, University of Calgary (Nominated)

    2006         Killam Resident Fellowship

    2006         Graduate Supervision Excellence Award, Graduate Students’ Association, University of Calgary (Nominated)

    2006         Community Service Award, University of Calgary Faculty Association (Nominated)

    2005         Margaret Gillett Award, for the best article published in the McGill Journal of Education

    2005         Teaching Excellence Award, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary

    2004         Teaching Excellence Award, Students’ Union, University of Calgary

    2003         Teaching Excellence Award, Students’ Union, University of Calgary (Nominated)

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