Robert F. Arnove received a B.A. in English literature from the University of Michigan in 1959, an M.A. in international relations and law from Tufts University in 1961, and a Ph.D. in international development education from Stanford University in 1969. Since joining IU in 1969, he has served as the director of graduate programs in Foundations of Education, International and Comparative Education, and Education Policy Studies. He is a past President of the North American Comparative and International Education Society (2000-2001), and an Honorary Fellow of the society for lifelong contributions to scholarship in this field of study.
Arnove is an expert in the fields of comparative and international education and the sociology of education. He has made major contributions to research on national education systems from a world-systems perspective, to the critical analysis of the role major philanthropic foundations play in agenda setting in education and social science research, to the historical and comparative study of national literacy campaigns, to the conceptualization of nonformal and popular education as well as alternative schools, and to the study of political and educational change in Latin America, in general, and Nicaragua, in particular.
Arnove has been a visiting scholar and professor at Stanford University, McGill University, the University of Iowa, Hangzhou University (China), the Queensland University of Technology, the University of Madrid (La Complutense), the University of Salamanca, the Federal University of Bahia (on a Fulbright Lectureship), the University of Palermo (Buenos Aires, as UNESCO Chair of Higher Education), the Hong Kong Institute of Education, and the Iberoamerican University in the Dominican Republic. He has received numerous teaching and service awards from Indiana University, including the Amoco Distinguished Teaching Award (1982), the FACET (Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching) Award (1991), the John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies (1995), and the University Graduate School Distinguished Teaching Mentoring Award (1998). He was named a Chancellor's Professor in 2001.