Walker Buckalew, Ph.D.

Walker Buckalew, Ph.D. ISM Executive Consultant | Bio
Walker Buckalew, Ph.D. ISM Executive Consultant | Bio | Mobile

ISM Executive Consultant


Schools benefit specifically from Walker's experience as an ISM consultant, in school and university administration, and in his national research into the factors that make schools successful in retaining and maintaining high academic performance.

Walker has developed expertise in Strategic Performance Analyses, Long Range Planning, Board Workshops, and Transition Planning. He has also been instrumental in developing ISM's approach to strategic financial planning. He is an expert in Board structure and responsibilities.

Current Role

Walker has delivered more than 600 onsite consultations for ISM and has served, at various times, as President of ISM’s research division, Director of Publications, and Director of Consultants. He also:

  • Has authored more than 200 articles, primarily dealing with private-independent school governance, management, and finance
  • Has written 14 books, including five for high school students, and continues his literary career today, both for ISM and independently as a novelist
  • Writes for ISM’s publications, including Ideas & Perspectives
  • Delivers ISM workshops for Board Presidents, and on the topics of strategic planning and strategic financial planning
  • Consults for ISM with schools in the areas of Board School Sustainability Training and strategic planning/strategic financial planning
  • Serves annually on the Head Support and Evaluation Committee of selected private-independent schools

Prior Experience

Walker has been with ISM since 1989 after a 24-year career in education, including 15 years in college and university teaching and administration, the last four as President and Chief Operating Officer of Cumberland University, TN.


Walker earned his ME.d. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wyoming and his bachelor’s degree from Duke University.