Dr Muhammad Khalifa is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Administration (EAD) at Michigan State University. Dr. Khalifa is a native of Michigan, and worked as a public school teacher and administrator in Detroit. His research demonstrates how school leaders can creates an overlap between school and community environments. In such overlapping contexts, principals venture into the community and advocated for community-based causes. In his research, this led to parental trust of the school leader, and he was consequently better able to make school-based children without parental resistance.
This and Dr. Khalifa's other works demonstrate that necessity of school leaders to enact a nuanced school leadership that is responsive to the sensibilities and histories of the local community. In his research until now, this has largely been African American, Latino, English language learners (ELL) who are most often low-SES students. Recently, however, he has engaged research that examines the plight of African refugee students. He is looking at the factors that lead these students to show either high or low academic performance in school. Of special interest is how school leaders might promote environments that contribute to refugee school success. In this regard, and in addressing other minoritized students, he has been helping schools with conducting equity audits.