National Institute Named After Martha McCarthy


Martha McCarthy, SOE’s first President’s Professor, was walking to a luncheon during the 46th Education Leadership Summer Conference at Indiana University, when she was surprised to see a number of her former students heading in the same direction. During the luncheon, she was even more surprised, and very humbled, to learn that the annual conference was being renamed in her honor – starting in 2014, it will be known as the Martha McCarthy Education Law and Policy Institute.

The annual conference, co-hosted by the Indiana University School of Education and the Indiana University School Administrators Association, draws a national audience of education leaders for a series of discussions and presentations on educational leadership, law and policy.

“This year I was on a panel presentation with two lawyers and two law school professors discussing the hot topics in school law – how social media and the First Amendment affect public schools,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy joined the LMU School of Education in 2011 from the Indiana University School of Education, where she is Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, having joined IU in 1975. At LMU, McCarthy teaches in the Department of Educational Leadership, including courses in the school’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership for Social Justice program.

A nationally recognized expert in educational law and policy, she has conducted research on most aspects of educational law. McCarthy’s recent focus has been on First Amendment issues pertaining to church/state relations and the free speech rights of students and school employees. She has also studied the evolution of leadership preparation programs.

McCarthy has served as president of the Education Law Association and the University Council for Educational Administration. A recipient of numerous honors and recognitions, she received ELA’s McGhehey Award for contributions to the field of school law, UCEA’s Roald Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and the organization’s Edwin M. Bridges Award in 2011 for her long-term, high-impact program of research, teaching and service to the profession.