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The University of Texas at Tyler
UT Tyler Professor Constructs Minds to Excellence
Dr. John Martin, professor of construction management at The University of Texas at Tyler, helps build traditions for the College of Business and Technology as chair of the college’s newly developed construction management program.
Combining his profound background as an educational leader in past department chair roles and his real-world experience as a former general contractor, Martin knows what it takes to prepare and construct students’ minds to excellence in the field as well.
“I’ve always felt like tying the student back to the real world is so important in construction because it’s something you can’t memorize. You can’t memorize your way out of this business,” he said.
Martin has already started bringing that aspect into the classroom setting. He expects his students to wear business attire once a week in class. The professor also is looking into service and community projects on campus – and abroad.
“It’s a part of leadership training and becoming a true professional,” said Martin. “Managing the construction process brings together autonomy, professionalism and leadership skills. Those are the attributes I want from our students. We want our students in the construction management program to have a reputation for being leaders both on and off campus."
“Last fall, we ended up cleaning the Harvey Lake deck,” Martin added. “We weren’t around to build it, but we can keep the deck in good repair. For this spring, we’re looking into building a barbeque area for the university. We’re also looking into planning trips to national parks for other service learning projects."
UT Tyler began its construction management major in fall 2007. This semester, the program has already doubled in size.
“It’s typically an intersection point of business, architecture and engineering, with a real emphasis on business and management of projects,” Martin said of the construction management discipline, which typically sees the average college graduate making about $50,000 annually. “When I arrived last fall, there were about 12 students. Now we have doubled it this spring and going into the next course catalog, we’ll see a construction management curriculum with at least 16 courses."
According to Martin, UT Tyler is one of about 78 construction management programs in the country.
“We’re not only going to be a local discipline, but we’ll be able to attract students on a global basis because there are just not that many construction management programs,” he said. “I predict we’ll probably be one of the larger programs in five years. If we’re going to have a premiere program, the program will need significant traditions to hang our hat on, so to speak, as we begin to graduate people in our discipline.”
And so with the ground level before him, Martin hopes to build more traditions and memories that will last for years to come.
Martin holds an Ed.D. in human resource development from Oklahoma State University and an MBA in finance from the University of Central Oklahoma.
He and his wife Cheryl, who together will celebrate 34 years of marriage this August, have three children.
A dedicated outdoorsman, Martin enjoys tending to the American paint horses and English Labrador retrievers he raises on his Oklahoma ranch. He also enjoys taking extensive cross-country rides on his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.