John William Bardo was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1948. He grew up in that area and graduated from Oak Hills High School in 1966. After high school, John attended the University of Cincinnati where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics (1970). He also studied economics and social policy at the University of Southampton, England, during his junior year. After graduating from Cincinnati, John received a master’s degree in sociology from Ohio University (1971) and a Ph.D. in sociology (1973) from the Ohio State University. He also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard in 1987.
John’s first academic appointment upon completing graduate school was at Wichita State University as an assistant professor of sociology. He also worked and taught in the Hugo Wall Center for Urban Studies. During his time at WSU, he also obtained a Fulbright to Australia where he and his wife Deborah studied Americans as migrants and had a sabbatical appointment at the University of Wales at Swansea in social policy.
After leaving WSU, John held a variety of appointments at Southwest Texas State University, the University of North Florida, Bridgewater State College, and Western Carolina University. At Western Carolina, John served as chancellor from 1995 to 2011 after which he rejoined the faculty.
John’s academic interests involve the relationships between higher education, the economy and quality of life. He speaks regularly on issues associated with the New Economy and building competitiveness. When not working, John enjoys international travel and working with stained glass.
John first met his wife Deborah in Neff Hall on the WSU campus and they married in 1975. They have one son, Christopher who lives in Wichita, KS and is a student at Wichita State University.