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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

Derek Black recognized among the country’s most influential educators

Each year Education Week releases the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, recognizing the top 200 scholars moving their ideas from concept to policy and practice. This year professor Derek Black, director of the Constitutional Law Center, joins the ranks for the first time.  

“I read the rankings every year, mostly to check on how the scholars I most respect are doing,” Black says. “It is both thrilling and humbling to join them.” 

This is also the first time a professor from the University of South Carolina has appeared in the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. 

More than 20,000 university-based faculty are considered. Scholars are evaluated on nine publicly available metrics: Google Scholar; Book Points; Highest Amazon Ranking; Syllabus Points; Education Press Mentions; Web Mentions; Newspaper Mentions; Congressional Record Mentions; and Twitter Score. 

By the numbers 

Black ranks 

  • No. 63 overall  
  • No. 6 in Twitter influence 
  • In the top 30 for newspaper and education press mentions 
  • Second highest of the three law professors included and the only full-time law faculty member 

For context 

The annual Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings were first published in 2010. Scholars must be university-based and focus wholly or primarily on educational questions to be eligible. In past years most scholars specialized in Economics; Government and Policy; and Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration. 

In his words 

“Life and research are way too complex to ever fairly reduce to a ranking. I would trade hundreds of my citations in scholarly journals for just one more citation in a judicial opinion that really mattered – or even better, a chance to testify. And I would trade several of my journal articles to be done with another book. With that said, these rankings earnestly try to measure the impact of a scholar’s work beyond just citations in journals,” Black says. “Making a difference is why I write, so rankings like these give you a little confidence that you are on the right track.” 

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