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Michael Martin, Ph.D. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Michael Martin, Ph.D.

Expert in the economics of education and international development | Florida Gulf Coast University


President Emeritus Mike Martin is an expert in higher education leadership, the economics of education and education's impact on economics.





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The Florida Gulf Coast University board of trustees unanimously selected Martin to become the institution’s fourth president on July 1, 2017, and his appointment was confirmed by the Board of Governors.

President Martin came to FGCU from the Colorado State University System, where he served most recently as chancellor emeritus and senior fellow following three years as chancellor. Before this, he was chancellor of Louisiana State University; president of New Mexico State University; vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida; vice president for agricultural policy at the University of Minnesota; and served 15 years on the faculty, including a term as faculty senate president, at Oregon State University.

President Martin has worked extensively with the U.S. Department of State as a consultant assessing rural development projects in places as far afield as Yemen, Morocco, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Cyprus.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Higher Education Leadership


North Korea



Rural Development

International Development

International Trade

Native Americans in Higher Education

Land Grant Institutions

Accomplishments (3)

Person of the Year (professional)

The News-Press 2019

Founder's Award

Academy of Communications Engagement Scholarship 2017

National Diversity Council (professional)

"Men who support Women" 2010

Education (4)

University of Minnesota: Ph.D., Applied Economics 1977

Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University): Economics, M.A. 1971

Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University): Business and Economics, B.S. 1969

Chippewa Technical College: Certificate, Welding 1971

Affiliations (9)

  • Farm Foundation Board of Trustees
  • International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • American Council on Education
  • Hispanic Association of College and Universities
  • Southwest Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • Champions for Learning
  • Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance
  • Alliance for Educational Leadership

Selected Media Appearances (7)

Covid-19 Is an Opportunity to Build Bridges in Academe, Not Burn Them

The Chronicle of Higher Education  print


President Martin and then-Faculty Senate President James MacDonald write about the opportunities presented by COVID-19.

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Regional universities play important role in Florida

Pensacola News Journal  print


President Martin and Martha Saunders, president of the University of West Florida, writes about regional universities and their importance to the State of Florida.

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Student debt in context

Naples Daily News  print


President Martin writes for The News-Press: "As we near the next national election, candidates of all stripes seek issues to enhance their prospects of success."

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Veblen Saw It Coming

Inside Higher Ed  online


Several characterizations of the wealthy in his writings seem especially relevant to the ongoing admissions scandal, Mike Martin observes.

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Public University Budgets: Not Always So Simple

Inside Higher Ed  online


Administrators must manage a complex set of internal subsidies and cross-subsidies, yet dictates from on high run counter to this reality, argues Michael Martin.

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Is Tuition Too High? And 3 Other Questions for the President of Florida Gulf Coast U.

The Chronicle of Higher Education  


Michael V. Martin is interviewed for the Chronicle of Higher Education's "In the Hot Seat" feature.

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70 Is Not the New 50, and That’s a Good Thing

Inside Higher Ed  online


Michael Martin sees advantages to presidencies at older ages than was once common.

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Selected Event Appearances (2)

Panelist: A Path for Every Student: A Look at the State College and University System

Learners to Earners Workforce Solution Summit  Orlando, Florida


Guest Speaker: The ROI for Higher Education in Food and Agriculture

Farm Foundation Forum  Washington, D.C.


Selected Articles (3)

A Time for Substance: Confronting Funding Inequities at Land Grant Institutions

Tribal College: Journal of American Indian Higher Education

Michael V. Martin and Janie Simms Hipp

2018 In recent years, a number of universities have exhibited “institutional conscience” by confessing to past participation in America’s racist history. Several, including Yale, Georgetown, the University of North Carolina, Clemson, and Alabama have changed building names which honored those who supported or fought to preserve slavery. Others have purged mascots which stereotyped and offended American Indians. Be assured symbols are important, and removing those that offend is meaningful. But, in our view, it’s time for more substantive change, particularly for the family of institutions known as land grant institutions. Here is a proposal, preceded by a bit of historical background.

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Land Grants: Back to the Future


Michael V. Martin and Janie Simms Hipp

2016 The three branches of the Land Grant Colleges and Universities family all share a common legacy, common mission and common challenges. The Morrill Act of 1862, the original legislation which served as the framework for land grant institution expansion beginning in the 1880s and continuing to 1994, was first inspired by Jonathan Baldwin Turner. Turner authored his “Granville Plan” in 1851 and much of what became the Morrill Act was contained in Turner’s early writing...

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The Blessings and Curses of Big Time Football: One Perspective

Journal of Intercollegiate Sport

Michael Martin

2013 Drawing from experiences as a leader at various universities, in this paper, the author discusses the blessings and curses of major intercollegiate athletic programs. Blessings include national attention, contribution to diversity, improved facilities, campus excitement, the ability to recruit top coaches and staff, and academic support. Curses include the considerable national attention, tighter scrutiny, misplaced priorities, a culture of dependency, decreases in faculty and staff morale, the potential for decrease athlete welfare, and a lack of competition. The author then offers potential solutions to these issues.

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