Ralph Martire, JD, has been appointed to Roosevelt University’s Arthur Rubloff Endowed Professorship. He will assume the position on August 15, 2018.
“With the Rubloff Professorship, we looked for a faculty member who would be an outstanding teacher, and who also has a program of research and advocacy that makes a significant impact beyond the walls of the University,” said Bonnie Gunzenhauser, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Ralph Martire is a perfect fit for this role. He has a proven track record with a research-based, strategic approach to sustainable, systemic, policy-driven reforms, and has emerged as an important public voice on a range of policy issues.”
Since 1999, Martire has served as executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), an organization dedicated to analyzing local, state and federal tax and budget issues. He helped secure many legislative victories in this role, most recently in August 2017 with the passing of the landmark Illinois education bill widely known as the Evidence-Based Model of Education Funding.
In 2011, Martire was appointed as a full voting commissioner to the congressionally established Equity and Excellence in Education Commission under the Federal Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division. His numerous awards for work on education and public policy reform include the Champion of Freedom Award, presented to Martire by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition in recognition of work that reflects Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to equal educational opportunities.
Prior to joining the CTBA, Martire was a partner in a law firm specializing in intellectual property, structured finance, and mergers and acquisitions. He worked on Dawn Clark Netsch’s gubernatorial campaign and on David Wilhelm’s run for the United States Senate. Martire is also a former candidate for the Cook County Board. He currently sits on multiple boards including the School Board of River Forest District 90, where he serves as board president.
With a strong background in higher education, Martire currently teaches a graduate-level course on fiscal policy at Roosevelt. He previously taught tax policy seminars for the International Fulbright Scholar Program, the National Labor College, and the national Women in Government lecture series. Martire has also designed and taught graduate-level courses at the University of Illinois and Illinois State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Indiana University and a JD from the University of Michigan.
Martire’s career history, particularly his recent work with the CTBA, reflects his strong commitment to social and economic justice through data-driven policy, which Gunzenhauser says makes him an ideal candidate to fill this important role at Roosevelt.
“The CTBA’s mission aligns powerfully with Roosevelt’s commitments to social justice, community engagement and rigorous research,” Gunzenhauser said. “I am thrilled to have Ralph on our faculty and to work together with him to build a strong relationship between the CTBA and Roosevelt.”
The University’s dedication to social and economic justice, coupled with the rich diversity of its student body, contributed to Martire’s desire to join the campus community. He was also extremely impressed by the caliber of Roosevelt’s faculty.
“These aren’t your typical faculty and administrators,” Martire said. “They want to get their hands dirty and roll up their sleeves to do whatever it takes to contribute to social change. I’m excited to work closely with them on putting new systematic changes in place.”
Martire also credits the late Paul Green, who served as professor of public administration and director of Roosevelt’s Institute for Politics, as a source of personal inspiration.
“Paul was one of the most thoughtful and insightful political analysts in Illinois, and it’s both humbling and an honor to be chosen to fill his shoes,” Martire said. “I’m also excited for the opportunity to take some of what I’ve learned working in public policy in Springfield and the Beltway and take it to the next generation of influencers and decision-makers.”