John A. Kline was born and grew up in Iowa, lives in Montgomery, Alabama, and is the Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Director of the Troy
University Institute for Leadership Development.
After graduating from Conrad High School, John farmed for six years before leaving to attend Iowa State University where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in English and Speech. Next he earned both Masters and PhD degrees in Human Communication from the University of Iowa. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is he completed all three degrees in 6½ years, all the time working his way through school.
After serving as professor at both the University of New Mexico and the University of Missouri-Columbia, Dr Kline accepted a teaching position in 1975 as a civilian professor at the USAF Air University located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Dr. Kline completed the Federal Program for Senior Executives at the University of Virginia and the John F. Kennedy Program in International Security at Harvard University and moved into positions of increasing responsibility. In 1986 he achieved Senior Executive Service (SES) status and later received several awards including the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service. From 1991 until 2000 he was the Air University Provost with responsibility for faculty, academic programs, libraries, technology, budget and support of 50,000 resident and 150,000 distance-learning students annually. During this time, Dr. Kline was the federal employee equivalent of a two-star general, reporting directly to the Commander of Air University, a three-star general.
In early 2000, Dr. Kline joined Troy University (Alabama) as a Professor of Education. In 2003 he assumed his present position.
John Kline has a distinguished career of service and a record of successful leadership in educational, volunteer, civic and religious organizations. He speaks and writes on leadership and communication and conducts training on writing, speaking and listening. He published many articles and book chapters, as well as several books on Leadership and Communication. In 2010, Dr. Kline received the Troy University Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, given to the one teacher who has “most diligently, effectively and cheerfully conducted his classes during the current academic year.” In 2011, Dr. Kline received the Alabama Higher Education Partnership Leadership award as the “unparalleled ambassador . . . garnering the support of literally thousands of university students throughout Alabama.”
John has won many other awards, but says his most recent one is the highest honor he has ever received. In April 2017 he received the annual Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award which is given at select colleges and universities and recognizes the recipient for “excellence of character, humanitarian service and spiritual qualities.”