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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

July 16, 2009

Education dean to deliver summer commencement address

Dr. Max Ruhl

Dr. Max Ruhl

Summer commencement ceremonies at Northwest Missouri State University will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 30, in Bearcat Arena.

Doors to the arena open at 6 p.m. Degree candidates can pick up their caps and gowns between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 27, through graduation day at the Student Services Center on the first floor of the Administration Building.

Approximately 260 graduates are expected to receive degrees. Diplomas will be conferred on about 130 undergraduates, 120 master's degree candidates and 12 specialist in education degree candidates.

Complete details about summer commencement at Northwest are posted on the Senior Spot Web site at

This summer's commencement speaker is Dr. Max Ruhl, who has served as dean of the College of Education and Human Services and director of professional education at Northwest Missouri State University since 1997. Prior to assuming his current position, he taught in the University's Department of Educational Leadership, where he was appointed chair and promoted to the rank of full professor.

A native Missourian, Ruhl completed his undergraduate degree in history and political science at the College of the Ozarks, where he currently sits on the Board of Trustees. He holds master's and educational specialist degrees in school leadership from the University of Arkansas and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before beginning his career in higher education, Ruhl was a teacher and administrator for more than 12 years with Neosho (Mo.) Public Schools.

In the areas of quality management and continuous process improvement, Ruhl has undertaken various responsibilities related to the Excellence in Missouri Foundation and Missouri Quality Award, including service as a senior examiner, judge and member of the Board of Overseers. He has consulted with former Gov. John Ashcroft on education issues and supported the work of former Gov. Bob Holden's Business-Education Roundtable.

Ruhl was instrumental in the creation of both the University of Missouri's cooperative doctoral program, in which Northwest participates, and the Urban Residential Internship Program (along with the related Higher Education Partnership), which has gained favorable attention from educators across the United States and provided Kansas City's urban schools with access to new teachers from a variety of institutions of higher learning.

His many contributions to education beyond the Northwest campus have included serving as president of the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and as a board member of the Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology in Kansas City.

As dean, Dr. Ruhl has supported a number of initiatives that promote diversity, multi-cultural education and international student teaching and study experiences. He also played a major role in the creation of the Northwest Kansas City Center in Liberty, the University's first academic facility located beyond the borders of the Maryville campus.

An accomplished scholar and author or co-author of articles in numerous professional journals, Dr. Ruhl's research interests include continuous quality improvement, systems analysis and educational policy analysis.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468