Michael Podgursky is a professor of economics at the University of Missouri–Columbia, where he served as department chair from 1995 to 2005, and is a fellow of the George W. Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University. He has published numerous articles and reports on education policy and teacher quality. He serves on advisory boards for various education organizations, and editorial boards of two education research journals. From 1980 to 1995, he was on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Missouri–Columbia and a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.