Patrick Dolan grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. He received undergraduate and masters degrees in philosophy from St. Louis University. He earned a doctorate in organizational development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Dolan held academic administrative posts at Georgetown University and St. Louis University. He founded his own consulting firm in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1976. For the next twenty years the firm did pioneering work in labor/management change in large institutional settings. The work usually covered divisions of corporations or the entire corporation and their international union, took three to five years, and resulted in an improved culture and relationship of cooperation around quality and productivity.
The clients consisted of corporations such as Ford and Ford Europe, Goodyear, Republic Steel, John Deere, Boeing, General Dynamics, Cessna, and the FAA. The United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers, International Association of Machinists, United Rubber Workers, and the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers were also joint clients in this work.
In 1992, Dr. Dolan broadened the focus of his work to public education and its restructuring, always working from a joint perspective of union/management cooperation. He has worked in the states of Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa helping to implement collaborative structures at the state and local district and site levels. He has also done extensive work with locals and state affiliates of the National Education Association. He has worked with over 200 school districts on deep reform of both the structure of decision-making and the culture surrounding and supporting improvements in teaching and learning.
Since 2004, Dr. Dolan has lead a consulting group that supports the grant awards of the GE Foundation in the United States. This group analyzes and supports the systemic and sustainable dimensions of educational change in all the GE Foundation’s College Bound Grants in Math and Science through the Illinois based Consortium for Educational
Dr. Dolan has written a critique of graduate education with William Arrowsmith entitled, The Ranking Game. His book on public education, Restructuring Our Schools, A Primer on Systemic Change, is in its fourth printing.