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College of Ed dean gets endowed chair

Amy+Webb%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ARonald+W.+Marx%2C+the+dean+of+the+College+of+Education%2C+received+an+endowed+chair%2C+giving+him+more+funding+for+his+research+in+Early+Childhood+Development.%0A%0A
Amy Webb
Amy Webb/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Ronald W. Marx, the dean of the College of Education, received an endowed chair, giving him more funding for his research in Early Childhood Development.

Ronald Marx, dean of the College of Education, received the most prestigious honor that the university can present to a member of its faculty — an endowment chair recognition with a $1 million donation for his leadership and responsibility within the college.

Marx is the first Paul L. Lindsey & Kathy J. Alexander Dean’s Chair.

The appointee of an endowed chair carries a highly donor-supported position that aids research expansion and faculty retention.

“These things in the academic world are a great honor,” Marx said. “I have been in academics for 37 years and it’s kind of nice having achieved some type of status in my field, a recognition that my work is of high quality.”

Marx has been working with large data sets that focus on the development of early childhood influences. In a study of 7,200 children ranging from 6 months to 6 years old, Marx looked at how developmental and environmental factors can influence the readiness of a child’s school experience.

Through the study, he discovered that children whose families put them in some kind of childcare or preschool prior to entering school have better outcomes in language development.

As for the College of Education, the endowment shows a prestigious status to the next dean that will hold the chair position.

“I am interested in improving our academics and teacher development constantly,” he said.

In addition to expanding research and recruiting faculty, part of Marx’s responsibility is to generate resources for community grant applications. Marx has been able to recruit at least half of the current faculty in the college.

“The market for high-quality faculty is a tough marketplace,” he said. “For people that we hire, we had to compete in the open market and negotiate with them to be convinced to come here.”

Aside from competing with universities to recruit quality faculty, Marx also has to secure talent and resources.

Some of the college’s most successful moments have been the reinstatement of two programs: The early childhood education program and preparing principles master’s program, which focuses on detailed teacher development.

Jeff Milem, department head of Educational Policy Studies and Practice, has been working with Marx to examine the impact of enrollment in Mexican-American studies on high school graduation rates.

“It has been great working with Marx,” Milem said. “He is a smart man, who I have a respect for his vision for the College of Education.”

The endowment will allow Marx to recruit the brightest leadership into the college’s faculty, Milem said.

Linda Shaw, department head of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, has been working under Marx since she started at the UA.

“His management and personal style as a dean shows his faith and ability for the people he works with,” she said.

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