Superior Service Award, 2011
Gary Ritter won the college's award for superior service.
Ritter holds the Twenty-First Century Chair in Education Policy. He earned a doctorate in education policy and leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. His service includes chairing the College Council, the elected body that represents the faculty of the College of Education and Health Professions and membership on several college committees.
Ritter also serves his profession and field as co-chair of the Education Coordinating Group of the Campbell Collaboration, which fosters systematic reviews of education research and disseminates the summaries to practitioners and policymakers around the globe; as a content expert for ERIC database; and as a peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education and several education journals.
He directs the University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy; he developed the idea in 2002, solicited a small starter grant in 2003, and has built the office over the past 10 years into a "trusted source on K-12 education in Arkansas," according to a nomination letter. "In the last eight years OEP has released 16 in-depth policy analyses, more than 80 policy briefs, and a dozen newsletters geared toward explaining complex education policy issues and research to state lawmakers and educational leaders. OEP has also developed an attractive web site and held multiple conferences to facilitate their dissemination of accurate information to the people who need to put that information into action."
G. David Gearhart, chancellor of the University of Arkansas, also cited Ritter's work with the Office of Education Policy in a letter supporting his nomination. "it's fair to say the OEP resides at the heart of any discussion of education in the state of Arkansas," Gearhart said. 'We can thank Gary Ritter for making this happen."
Tom Kimbrell, commissioner of education for the state of Arkansas, also wrote a letter of support for Ritter and highlighted his work with OEP as having a positive impact on educational leaders across the state.
Ritter has worked directly with several school districts in the state on reform projects and testified more than a dozen times before several state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.
The Arkansas Alumni Association and the University of Arkansas recently named Ritter a recipient of the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award.