J. Kent Donlevy

J. Kent Donlevy, PhD



Werklund School of Education, Specialization, Leadership

Contact information

Phone number

Office: 403.220.2973


Office: EDT924

For media enquiries, contact

Clayton MacGillivray
Content and Media Specialist

Email: clmacgil@ucalgary.ca
Twitter: @UCalgaryEduc


Educational Background

PhD University of Saskatchewan, 2003

MEd Educational Administration, University of Saskatchewan, 1994

BEd Elementary/Secondary, University of Saskatchewan, 1989

JD University of Saskatchewan, 1984

BA History, University of Saskatchewan, 1973


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. 

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Saskatchewan Law Society
  • Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law and Education
  • St. Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild – Northern Alberta Branch
  • 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)


Areas of Research

Scholarly Activity

Dr. Donlevy has published over 64 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. One of his most recent publications is a peer-reviewed article in the Supreme Court of Canada Law Review.  

  • Constitutional, human rights and educational law
  • Ethics in leadership
  • Leadership in educational administration


Current Projects

Current Projects

Dr. Donlevy is currently working on three research projects.

(1) The contractual and common law rights to academic freedom in Canadian universities.

(2) Freedom of expression in Canadian Universities.

(3) The intersectionality of secular and sacred rights in Canadian constitutional law.


  • Teaching Excellence Award, Werklund School of Education Students’ Union. 2017
  • John Ranton Visiting Scholar, University of Saskatchewan. 2013
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Students’ Union, University of Calgary (Honourable Mention). 2013
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Students’ Union, University of Calgary. 2012
  • Killam Resident Fellowship , 2006
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. 2005
  • Teaching Excellence Award , Students' Union, University of Calgary . 2004


  • Violence in Alberta’s urban schools: The perspectives of school resource officers. Abela, G., & Donlevy, J. K. Education and Law Journal. 29(1), 1–26. (2020)
  • A clash of positive and negative liberty: Denying accreditation to Trinity Western Law School. Donlevy, J. K., & Gereluk, D. International Journal of Law and Education. 2, 18–31. (2019)
  • Superintendents who lead for optimal learning: Nine insights.. P Hanna; D Parsons; James Brandon; L Wallace; M Mountford; James Kent K Donlevy. Information Age Publishing. pp. 53-72. (2019)
  • Trigger warnings, freedom of speech, and academic freedom in higher education. Donlevy, J. K., Gereluk, D., & Brandon, J. Education and Law Journal. 28, 1–41. (2018)
  • School trustees acting badly and freedom of expression under the Charter. Donlevy, J. K., Brandon, J., & Gereluk, D. Education and Law Journal. 27(2), 125–143. (2018)
  • Building ethical judgement and reasoning for preservice teachers. Dianne T Gereluk; James Kent Donlevy. Canadian Association for Teacher Education. (2018)
  • Constitutional Rights, Constitutional Privileges and the School Boundary Dispute . Donlevy, J.K.. Alberta Journal of Educational Administration and Foundations. (2010)
  • The Ten Dimensions of Inclusion: Non-Catholic Students in Catholic Schools . Donlevy, J.K.. Sense Publications, Netherlands. (2009)
  • Catholic Schools and Freedom of Conscience in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms . Donlevy, J. K.. Journal of Catholic Legal Studies (St. John’s School of Law, New York) Symposium Issue Vol. 47, 1, (St. John’s School of Law, New York) Symposium Issue Vol. 4. 69-96. (2008)
  • A Guide to Alberta School Law . Donlevy, J.K., Chomos, J., & Walker, K.D. . Blitzprint, Calgary, AB.. (2008)
  • Value Pluralism and Negative Freedom: The Surrey and Trinity Cases.. Donlevy, J. K. . McGill Journal of Education 39 (3) . 305-325. (2004)