R. Craig Wood Announces Retirement

R. Craig Wood, UF Professor, retires after serving more than 50 years in the field of education.


February 28, 2022



[av_three_fourth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]
[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]
R. Craig Wood, a well-respected University of Florida professor, has recently retired. Wood has devoted more than 50 years to the field of education, serving in the roles of public-school classroom teacher, school district business manager and assistant superintendent for finance for school districts in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Connecticut, ahead of becoming a university professor.

Wood came to the University of Florida in 1989, serving as the chair for the department of educational leadership and teaching higher education law, public school finance and public school law courses at the graduate level. His research and student mentoring focused on the areas with which he is nationally recognized, educational finance and education law. Over the last 33 years, Wood has served as a mentor to many, chairing 65 doctoral students to completion.

“I’m grateful for the keen interest in public school finance and law Dr. Wood instilled in me,” said former student Brian Marchman, assistant provost and director of Distance and Continuing Education at the University of Florida. “As an administrator, I frequently reflect on Dr. Wood’s teaching and wise approach to school funding and policy.   “Practitioners like me are especially fortunate to have been taught and mentored by Dr. Wood, one of the nation’s standout scholars in public school finance and law.”

Wood made a habit of supporting doctoral student research through mentorship and by providing opportunities to publish in academic journals and to present at a variety of national conferences, including that of the American Education Finance Association.

[av_one_fourth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]

[av_image src=’https://education.ufl.edu/news/files/2022/02/Craig-Wood-20081.jpeg’ attachment=’20087′ attachment_size=’full’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’][/av_image]

[av_hr class=’custom’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’0′ custom_margin_bottom=’0′ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=’#f58320′ icon=’ue883′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

R. Craig Wood


[/av_one_fourth][av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=’av-align-top’ space=’no_margin’ margin=’0px’ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0px’ padding_sync=’true’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ radius_sync=’true’ background_color=” src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]
[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]
Another former student, Jeff Maiden, senior researcher and director of The Institute for  Study of Education Finance, shared how Wood initiated the National Education Finance Conference (NEFC) that continues to provide a venue for the presentation of leading research in education finance.

“Since its inception, the NEFC has been littered with former and current doctoral students of Dr. Wood,” he said.”Additionally, Dr. Wood has published articles in academic journals with former and current doctoral students, and has been especially critical in assisting junior faculty members with the development of their individual research agendas.”

Colleagues support Wood’s approach toward mentorship and share his passion for preparing “exemplary practitioners and scholars,” as stated in the college’s mission statement.

“I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with him and hundreds of doctoral students in educational administration and policy,” said Linda Eldridge, director of educational leadership programs.

In addition to his exemplary teaching record, Wood’s expertise has been highly regarded and in high demand for many years, serving as an expert witness in cases involving charter school funding, sexual harassment, age discrimination, Title IX, higher education student dismissals, and other topics involving K-12 and higher education. With more than 250 published book chapters and 50 technical reports, and multiple textbooks still in print and demand, Wood’s reputation as a scholar is well earned.

Wood “has made a significant impact on leaders throughout the nation and continues his work as a  consultant on a national level,” Eldridge added.

Wood’s career includes being the founding co-director of both the University Council for Educational Administration and the UF Center for Education Finance. He is both past president and former executive director of the Association of Education Finance & Policy, past president for three major organizations — the Education Law Association, the National Education Finance Academy and the American Education Finance and Policy Association — and has served as the chair of the National Education Finance Conference. Major awards Wood has received include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Education Finance Academy, the E. C. Bolmeier Award from the Education Law Association and the Award for Sustained and Meritorious Service from the University Council for Education Administration. Within the University of Florida, he was presented with the B.O. Smith Research Professorship in 2002 and received the Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Award in 2016.

[av_heading heading=’Wood reflected on his career with the College of Education, sharing:’ tag=’h3′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

“Having completed thirty-two years at the University has given me an opportunity to publish in the top journals and law reviews in my field. The university name has afforded me the opportunity to represent literally hundreds of thousands of school children in education finance litigation cases across the nation and to have worked with dozens of state legislatures regarding the financing of public elementary and secondary education. Additionally, the university has afforded me an opportunity to be elected president of the top education law and finance associations over the years. These experiences led to the publication of one of the leading textbooks in school finance now in its eighth edition. These activities also led to the working with graduate students who have gone on to achieve national visibility within the arenas of education law and finance. I have been fortunate enough to have been recognized over the years by the university with the B.O. Smith Professorship, a University Research Foundation Professorship as well as the University of Florida Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Award.”