A FAIR SHAKE: A NEW ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP IN URBAN EDUCATION POLICY
Through a new endowed professorship in urban education policy, Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Dr. Betty Malen “hopes to recruit and retain education policy researchers who understand and respect the communities they seek to serve, and who can develop robust and responsive approaches to the challenges facing our urban schools.”
Situated in the College of Education, the Betty Malen Endowed Professorship will support tenured and tenure-track faculty who carry out research that addresses the socio-political contexts of urban schools and supports the development of policies that enhance the quality and fairness of educational opportunities for underserved populations. COE faculty have a history of conducting meaningful research on urban education policy; however, the resources an endowed professorship provides will enhance the scope and impact of that work.
As Dr. Claudia Galindo, a faculty member who studies urban education reform noted, “Dr. Malen’s new professorship will allow faculty to conduct cutting-edge research to eliminate the educational disadvantages of historically underserved students in urban schools. Because of Dr. Malen’s generosity, research findings will inform policy decisions and interventions to achieve educational equity.”
In addition to supporting research, the endowed professorship is intended to foster the integration of our education policy and urban education programs so that our graduates are equipped to bring a well-grounded, equity-oriented perspective to their work as agents of social justice.
Dr. Tara Brown, a faculty member in the urban education program explained, “The Endowed Professorship in Urban Education Policy will bring together two areas of scholarship that are vital in addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the field of education. It will provide valuable research support for students studying policy development and analysis and school reform in urban contexts, from equity-based perspectives.”
Dr. Malen was inspired to create the endowed professorship by the stark racial/ ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in our school systems, by the belief that carefully crafted research can strengthen policy development, and by the research, Dr. Tara Brown and Dr. Claudia Galindo carry out.
As Dr. Malen expressed it, “Their research centers the perspectives and experiences of underserved students, families, and communities and generates valuable insights about the policies that may be required to realize the promise of equal educational opportunity for all students. Their research illustrates the powerful lines of work this professorship seeks to support.”
“The College of Education celebrates the many contributions that Dr. Malen has made to the field of education policy,” said Jennifer King Rice, new UMD Senior Vice President and Provost and former COE Dean. “We share Dr. Malen’s belief that policy can have a profound impact on the lives of all students and create a more just and equitable world. We are proud to continue her legacy through this professorship and look forward to the new discoveries and solutions of future scholars supported by this generous endowment.”
Dr. Betty Malen joined the Department of Education Policy and Leadership in 1994. A former public-school administrator, Dr. Malen received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and held professorial positions at the University of Utah and the University of Washington before coming to Maryland. She specializes in education politics and policy. Dr. Malen was named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by the University of Maryland in 2016.