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George Sugai
Professor, Special Education
Carole J. Neag Endowed Chair
Director, Center for Behavioral Education & Research
Co-Director, Center of Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports

Dr. George Sugai received his M.Ed. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1980 at the University of Washington. His primary areas of interests are positive behavioral interventions and support, systems change, teacher professional development, emotional and behavioral disorders, social skills instruction, behavioral consultation, behavioral assessment procedures, and strategies for effective school-wide, classroom, and individual behavior management. Currently at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Sugai is Carole J. Neag Endowed Chair in Behavior Disorders and professor with tenure. Dr. Sugai also was on faculty at the University of Oregon and University of Kentucky, program director in an alternative school, and classroom teacher for students with behavior disorders. Dr. Sugai and colleagues have established the Center for Behavioral Education and Research ( in the Neag School of Education to improve academic and social behavior outcomes for students in schools by engaging in the systematic study of educational issues and interventions, and dissemination to preservice and inservice school personnel. As Project Director or Co-Director of major training or research grants totaling over $40 million, Dr. Sugai has experience in the implementation, operation, and supervision of grant-related projects. He has published over 100 articles, numerous monographs, and a number college textbooks on effective teaching practices, positive behavior support, and applied behavior analysis. Dr. Sugai's research has emphasized effective applications of applied behavior analysis principles and school-wide PBS procedures to problems found in educational contexts. The subject populations for these research areas includes students with severe challenging behavior, students with at-risk behaviors, and students described as having severely challenging behaviors. Dr. Sugai is currently co-director (with Rob Horner at the University of Oregon and Tim Lewis at the University of Missouri) of the national Center on Positive behavioral Interventions and Supports ( The Center was established in 1996 by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices. The Center has two foci: (a) broad dissemination to schools, families, and communities about a technology of school-wide positive behavioral support exists, and (b) demonstrations at the level of individual students, schools, districts, and states that school-wide positive behavioral support is feasible and effective.

•Ph.D. Special Education; University of Washington, 1980

•M.A. Special Education; University of Washington, 1974

•B.A. Botany; University of California, Santa Barbara, 1973

« Full C.V. »

Contact Information: 

Gentry - 019C

Phone: (860) 486-0289
Fax: (860) 486-0180


Office Hours:
by appointment

Mailing Address:
Educational Psychology Department
Neag School of Education
249 Glenbrook Road, Unit 3064
Storrs, CT 06269-3064

Personal Web Page


Association for Positive Behavioral Interventions

Association for Applied Behavior Analysis

Council for Exceptional Children

Council for Children with Behavior Disorders

Areas of Expertise:

Positive Behavioral Supports

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Applied Behavior Analysis

Classroom Discipline

Behavioral Intervention

Special Education

School-wide Positive Behavior Support

Function-based Behavior Support

Students with Behavioral Disorders

School-wide Discipline

Selected Publications/Presentations:

Sugai, G., O’Keeffe, B. V., & Fallon, L. M. (2012). A contextual consideration of culture and school-wide positive behavior support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 14, 197-208, 10.1177/1098300711426334

Sugai, G., & Horner, R. H. (2009, invited). Responsiveness-to-intervention and school-wide positive behavior supports: Integration of multi-tiered approaches. Exceptionality, 17, 223-237.

Sugai, G., & Horner, R. (2006) (invited paper). A promising approach for expanding and sustaining the implementation of school-wide positive behavior support. School Psychology Review, 35, 245-259.

Fairbanks, S., Simonsen, B., & Sugai, G. (2008). Classwide secondary and tertiary tier practices and systems. Teaching Exceptional Children, 40(6). 44-54.

Ingram, K., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Sugai, G. (2005). Function-based intervention planning: Comparing the effectiveness of FBA indicated and contra-indicated intervention plans. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 7, 224-236.

Sugai, G., & Horner, R.H. (2002). The evolution of discipline practices: School-wide positive behavior supports. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 24, 23-50.

Sugai, G., Horner, R. H., Dunlap, G. Hieneman, M., Lewis, T. J., Nelson, C. M., Scott, T., Liaupsin, C., Sailor, W., Turnbull, A. P., Turnbull, H. R., III, Wickham, D. Reuf, M., & Wilcox, B. (2000). Applying positive behavioral support and functional behavioral assessment in schools. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 2, 131-143.

Lewis, T. J., & Sugai, G. (1999). Effective behavior support: A systems approach to proactive school-wide management. Focus on Exceptional Children, 31(6), 1-24

Colvin, G., Sugai, G., Good, R. H., III, & Lee, Y. (1997). Using active supervision and precorrection to improve transition behaviors in an elementary school. School Psychology Quarterly, 12, 344-363.

Wolery, M. R., Bailey, D. B., Jr., & Sugai, G. M. (1988). Effective teaching: Principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis with exceptional students. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

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