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College of Education

Faculty and Staff

Susan C. Bon, J.D., Ph.D.

Title: Professor
Affiliate Professor, University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law; Faculty Civility Advocate
Department: Leadership, Learning Design, and Inquiry
College of Education
Phone: 803-777-2907

Wardlaw 210

Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Susan C. Bon, Ph.D., JD


Susan C. Bon, J.D, Ph.D., is an active leader in national organizations focused on education law, policy, and leadership, disability law (IDEA, ADA, Rehabilitation Act), values and ethics in education leadership, and personnel & employment decisions across the P-20 continuum. As a professor, she teaches and researches education and special education law, policy and leadership, has edited several books, and has authored and coauthored over 50 publications addressing the legal and ethical principles that inform administrative practice and impact leadership in education and special education. She currently has a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to prepare future special education leaders in South Carolina. Bon spent one year as a part-time Intern at the United States Education Department working on Title I, Part D (Neglected or Delinquent Youth), McKinney-Vento (EHCY), and Homeless Education Disaster Assistance (HEDA) Grant Programs. Her past experience also includes serving as coordinator of the Education Policy Fellowship program (EPFP) in Washington, D.C. and serving on several executive boards for non-profit organizations, including the Dream Project, which focuses on student success and access to higher education for immigrant students. Susan also serves as the Faculty Civility Advocate, responsible for workplace bullying investigations, in the Provost’s office. Sheis immediate past-president of a national education law organization (Education Law Association) and has been an active board member, author, and editor of ELA publications. Prior to her university faculty service, she worked as the ombudsman in the State Superintendent’s Division of the Ohio Department of Education. She received her law degree and a doctorate in education policy and leadership from The Ohio State University.

Research and Teaching Expertise

Education law, policy and leadership across the P-20 continuum, disability rights (IDEA, ADA, Rehabilitation Act), values and ethics in education leadership and personnel and employee decisions.

Selected Recent Research

Bon, S. C. & Bronaugh, D. A. (in press). Understanding the intersection between parental rights in special education and the constitutionally protected parental rights doctrine. Journal of Disability Law and Policy in Education. 

Griffith, A. & Bon, S. C. (2019). Involuntary medical withdrawal: A proposal for ethical and  legally sound mental health policies in higher education. Journal of School Public Relations, 37(1), 418-443. 

Bon, S. C., Nguyen, D., Rippner, J., & Fossey, R. (Eds.) (2019). Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Law. Education Law Association.  

Bon, S. C., & Rippner, J. (2019). Introduction to the American Legal System. In S.C. Bon et al. (Eds.), Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Law. Education Law Association.  

Bon, S. C., & Bubert, J. (2019). Federal Disability Laws. In S.C. Bon et al. (Eds.), Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Law. Education Law Association.  

Osborne, A. G., & Bon, S. C. (2019). Students with Disabilities. In J.C. Russo (Ed.), Yearbook of Education Law. Education Law Association. 

Bon, S. C. (2018). The moral and legal dimensions of decision making. In L. Bass et al. (Eds.), Developing Ethical Principles for School Leadership: PSEL Standard Two. Routledge.  

Bon, S. C. (2018). Promise or Peril: Reframing Parental Rights in Special Education Through School Choice Reform Initiatives. Belmont Law Review Journal5, 129-150. 

Bon, S. C. (2017). Procedural Safeguards: Resolving Family-School Disputes. In E. A. Shaver & J. R. Decker (Eds.) A Guide to Special Education Law. (pp. 183-191). Cleveland, OH: Education Law Association.

Bon, S. C., & Eckes, S. E. (2017). Race-Based Employment Discrimination. Principal Leadership18(4), 58-59. 

Tran, H., & Bon, S. C. (2016). Examining Principal Quality Through Multiple Stakeholders’  Perspectives. Journal of School Public Relations37(1), 55-78. 

Bon, S. C. (2016). Creative and Restorative Justice for the Wounded Student. National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Newsletter26(1), 4. 

Bon, S. C., Decker, J., & Wilson, N. (2016). Special education vouchers: Model legislation and parent rights. Peabody Journal of Education. doi: 10.1080/0161956X.2016.1207444

Geisel, R. T., Bon, S. C., & Buckman, D. (2015). Employee settlement agreements: Effective employment practice or public relations nightmare. Journal of School Public Relations, 36(2), 194-217.

Bon, S. C., & J. C. Sun (Eds.) (2015). Law & Educational Inequality: Removing Barriers to Educational Opportunities. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Special Awards

Outstanding Staff/Faculty Partner Award (2017) - (University of South Carolina, Division of Student Affairs & Academic Support)

Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award (2017) - (University of South Carolina, Higher Education and Student Affairs)

Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award (2016) - (University of South Carolina, Higher Education and Student Affairs)

Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award (2015) - University of South Carolina, Higher Education and Student Affairs)


EDLP 751–Advanced Education Law - Seminar designed to give school leaders an opportunity to explore key legal issues.

EDHE 737– Legal Issues in Higher Education - Focus on legal responsibilities, constraints, and emerging issues in higher education law; and examine general principles of constitutional, statutory and case law in order to be able to apply legal principles and judicial decisions to higher education institutions.

EDLP J705 – Legal Basis of Educational Organization and Administration - Emphasis on techniques of legal research, the legal relationships between the federal and state government as they relate to school district organization and administration, as well as legal case studies in all major areas of administrative concern.

EDLP 805 – Advanced Educational Policy Analysis - The purpose of this course is to gain a deeper understanding of state and federal higher education policymaking; and learn about the policymaking process and how it affects systems and institutions of higher education—and how institutions affect the policymaking process.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.