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Rodney Muth

Professor Emeritus

My story:

I have spent over 40 years in higher education, following several years teaching in elementary and secondary schools and pursuing degrees beyond my bachelor’s degree in Sociology, which I received from Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1965. Following my BA, I completed a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Washington in Seattle (1967). Then, I earned a PhD in 1971 from Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) in organizational and educational sociology and theory, politics of education and quantitative inquiry.

My primary roles since the mid-1960s have included program developer, teacher and researcher. I completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago (1970-1971), led a federal program while an assistant-associate professor at the Ohio State University (1971-1978), was an associate professor at Fordham University (1978-1989), was a professor at Wichita State University (1989-1992), and held the same rank at the University of Colorado Denver (1992-2011) until my retirement in August 2011.

At Ohio State, I administered a leadership development program, the National Program for Educational Leadership, a program co-sponsored by the College of Education and the Mershon Center. The program involved a national consortium of institutions, including City University of New York, Claremont Graduate School, Fisk University, Navaho Community College, North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction, Northwestern University, Ohio State University and The University of Texas at Austin.

While at Fordham, I helped redevelop the doctoral programs in educational leadership and urban education as well as reconceptualize doctoral research courses and dissertation research. I also worked with several other colleagues to create a new EdD program for school executives as part of the faculty’s participation in the Danforth Foundation’s national administrative leadership program renewal project. Based on these experiences, I went to Wichita State in 1989 to create WSU’s first doctoral program, an EdD in educational administration. Since joining the University of Colorado Denver faculty in 1992, I have been involved in similar creative efforts in program building, including restructuring the principal-preparation licensing program, creating an online principal-preparation program and revitalizing the PhD in educational leadership. Further, I spent about eight years in faculty governance, first as a leader of CU Denver campus efforts (2001-2004) and then as a leader of CU system faculty efforts (2004-2008).

Beginning with conference presentations as a doctoral student in the late 1960s and continuing through today, I have authored or co-authored close to 350 presentations, publications and other academic products, many with student and faculty colleagues. Of late, my research and writing have focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning, improvement of principal preparation, online teaching and learning, doctoral-student preparation, mentoring, faculty service in higher education and cohort learning. My interests continue to focus on school leadership, leadership research, the use power in organizations, problem- and project-based learning, improving teacher and principal preparation, the use of technology in education and enhancing learning outcomes for all students.

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