Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership

David Ayers EdD, MSL

NORFOLK, 23529

David completed an Ed.D. in higher education administration at N.C. State University in 1999. His prior studies included an M.A. in higher education with a minor in Spanish and a B.S. in Spanish, both from Appalachian State University. In 2008, he completed a certificate in critical discourse analysis and social research at Lancaster University (United Kingdom), and in 2016, he earned a Master of Studies in Law at Wake Forest University School of Law. His first professional job was teaching English and world history at Instituto Laurens, A.C., in Monterrey, Mexico. In the years following, he taught Spanish in K-12 and in community colleges. He served as assistant and associate professor at UNCG from 2002 to 2017. He accepted an appointment as associate professor at ODU in 2017.


Higher Education
Community college history and missions, Critical organization and management studies
Cultural Studies
Critical discourse analysis

Research Interests

community college missions, critical policy studies, organizational discourse processes, organizational sustainability


Ayers, D. (2022). Community college leadership discourses in dissertation abstracts: 1980 to 2020. Community College Journal of Research and Practice.
Ayers, D. F.. and Gonzales, L. D.. (2020). Emotional labor and mid-level leadership in community colleges. New Directions for Community Colleges 2020 (191) , pp. 43-55.
Gonzales, L. D.. and Ayers, D. F.. (2017). The convergence of institutional logics and the normalization of emotional labor. The Review of Higher Education 41 , pp. 455-478.
Ayers, D. F.. (2017). Three functions of the community college mission statement. New Directions for Community Colleges 2017 (180) , pp. 9-17.
Ayers, D. F.. and Palmadessa, A. L.. (2016). The community college and a rising global imaginary: An analysis of practical reasoning, 1950-2013.. The Journal of Higher Education 86 , pp. 864-892.
Ayers, D. F.. (2012). From governance to competitiveness: a diachronic analysis of the community college discourse of local. Critical Discourse Studies 10 (1) , pp. 99-116.
Ayers, D. F. (2012). When managerialism meets professional autonomy: The university ‘budget update’ as genre of governance. Culture and Organization 20 (2) , pp. 98-120.


Ayers, D. and Brooks, W. A.. (November , 2019). How do mission statements differ from presidents’ welcome statements: The salience of genre. Paper Association for the Study of Higher Education Portland, OR.
  • 2019: Senior Scholar Award, Council for the Study of Community Colleges