College of Education *
College of Education *
Betty Malen (TLPL)
Betty Malen
Contact Information:
Room: 2110C Benjamin Building
Phone: (301) 405-3587
E-mail: malen@umd.edu

Betty Malen (Ph.D., University of Minnesota at Minneapolis)
Professor; Education Policy and Leadership
Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL)

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Research Interests | Bio | Honors & Awards | Publications | Curriculum Vitae |

Research Interests

Include the politics of education reform, inter-governmental relations, the political determinants and substantive effects of prominent education reforms (e.g., decentralization, high-stakes accountability, pay for performance initiatives); case study designs and qualitative research methods.

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Professional Biography

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, policy and leadership. Her research brings the discipline of political science to the examination of education problems and relies heavily on the effective application of case study designs and qualitative research methods. Broadly recognized for her work on the political determinants and the substantive effects of prominent education reforms (e.g., choice, decentralization, professionalization of teaching). Dr. Malen is currently focusing on "reconstitution" reforms and on shifts in the balance of power between state and local units of the education system. She teaches courses in research methods (e.g., case study designs, dissertation seminar) as well as in education politics, policy and leadership.

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Honors & Awards



2011 American Education Studies Association Critics Choice Book Award for Breaking into the all-male club: Female professors of educational administration (contributor; N. Metz, editor).

Politics of Education Association, Stephen K. Bailey Award for Shaping the Intellectual and Research Agenda of the Field, April, 2006.

College of Education 2004-05 Outstanding Teaching Award, May 2005.

Secretary, AERA Division L, (Policy and Politics), elected 2004

Selected as participant for "A Study of Productive and Influential Scholars in Educational Administration," sponsored by AERA Division A, 1999.

Recipient, EDPA Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, 1999.

Nominee, EDPA Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, 1998-termination of award, 2005. Visiting Scholar, University of Michigan, July, 1996.

College of Education Nominee for University Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Washington, 1993 and 1994.

President, Politics of Education Association, elected 1992.

University of Utah Graduate School of Education Faculty Teaching Award, June, 1990 (first recipient).

Distinguished Service Award, American Education Finance Association, March, 1990.

UCEA William J. Davis Award, sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administration and the editorial board of Educational Administration Quarterly for the best article published in that journal during a volume year, April, l987.

Commissioned Papers/Monographs(research section of vita).

Jean Flanigan Dissertation Award, sponsored by the American Education Finance Association, April, l985.

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, University of Minnesota

Bush Leadership Fellowship, 19821983.This competitive award ($38,000) funded my doctoral program.

YWCA Woman of the Year in Education, Fargo, ND, 1978.

Teacher of the Year, Fargo Public School, Fargo, ND, 1976.

National Council of the American Forensic Association, 1972-76.

Outstanding Young Teacher, Central States Speech Assoc., 1970.

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Selected Publications

  • Malen, B. (2003). "Tightening their grip?" Educational Policy, 17, (2), 1995-216.


  • Malen, B., Croninger, R., Muncey, D. & Jones, D. (2002). "Reconstituting schools: Testing the Theory of action," Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24, (2), 113-132.


  • Croninger, R. G. & Malen, B. (2002). "The role of school governance in the creation of school community," in K. Leithwood & P. Hallinger (Eds). Second International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration, pp. 281-320. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Press.


  • Redmond Jones, D. & Malen, B. (2002) "Sources of victory, seeds of defeat: Linking enactment politics and implementation developments," in W. Hoy & C. Miskel (Eds.) Theory and Research in Educational Administration, Inaugural volume, 41-76.


  • Malen, B. (2001). Generating interest in interest groups. In H. Mawhinney & C. Lugg (Eds.), The 2000 Politics of Education Association Special Issue on Interest Groups in United States Education, Educational Policy, 15, 168-186.


  • Theobald, N. & Malen, B. (Eds.), (2000). Balancing local control and state responsibility k-12 education. The 2000 Yearbook of the American Education Finance Association.


  • Malen, B. & Muncey, D. (2000). Creating `a new set of givens'? The impact of state activism on site autonomy. In N.D. Theobald & B. Malen (Eds). Balancing local control and state responsibility for k-12 education, The 2000 Yearbook of the American Education Finance Association. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.


  • Malen, B., Theobald, N. D., & Bardzell, J. (2000). Achieving a `just balance' between local control of schools and state responsibility for k-12 education: Summary observations and research agendas. In N.D. Theobald & B. Malen (Eds). Balancing local control and state responsibility for k-12 education, The 2000 Yearbook of the American Education Finance Association. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.


  • Malen, B. (1999). The promises and perils of participation on side-based councils. Theory into Practice. 38,(4), 2209-216.


  • Malen, B. (1999). On rewards, punishments and possibilities: Teacher compensation as an instrument for education reform. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 12, 387-394.


  • Malen. B. (1999). Reflections on political responses to policy research. Educational Policy, 13, 185-190.


  • Malen, B., & Knapp, M. (1997). Rethinking the multiple perspectives approach to education policy analysis: Implications for policy-practice connections. Journal of Education Policy, 12, 419-445.


  • Malen, B. (1994). Site-based management: A political utilities analysis. Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 16, 249-267.

Selected Papers Presented
  • Malen, B. & Rice, J. K. (2003). "Strengthening incentives, diluting capacity: An analysis of the initial effects of high stakes accountability initiatives on local schools." A paper prepared for the annual meeting of the American Education Finance Association, Orlando, FL.


  • Rice, J. K. & Malen, B. (2002). "The human costs of education reform: The case of reconstitution." A paper prepared for the annual meeting of the American Education Finance Association, Albuquerque, NM.


  • Malen, B. (2001). "Fostering exit, voice or loyalty: The multiple effects of reconstitution." A paper prepared for a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Education Finance Association, Cincinnati, OH.


  • Malen, B. (2000). Reconstitution as promise and punishment: A micropolitical perspective. A paper prepared for a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.


  • Malen, B. & Muncey, D. (1999, October). Exploring the tensions between state activism and school autonomy. A paper prepared for the annual conference of the University Council for Educational Administration, Minneapolis, MN.


  • Malen, B., Croninger, R., Redmond, D., & Muncey, D. (1999, October). Uncovering the potential contradictions in reconstitution reforms. A paper prepared for the annual conference of the University Council for Educational Administration, Minneapolis, MN.


  • Malen, B. (1999, April). Appraising `competing perspectives' on policy. A commentary prepared for a paper session at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.


  • Malen, B., Finkelstein, B. F., Croninger, R. & Rice, J.K. (1999, April). Mandating miracles: The implementation of a district-initiated reconstitution reform." A paper prepared for the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.

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Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

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