Mark R. Shibles, Jr. (1938-2021)

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Mark R. Shibles, Jr.

AUBURN – Mark R. Shibles Jr., former Dean and Professor Emeritus for the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut passed away at the Androscoggin Hospice House on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 at the age of 83. He resided in Wilton, Maine.

Mark was born in Belmont, Mass., to Mark R. Shibles, Sr. and Alice (Banks) Shibles. He attended Orono High School; the University of Maine at Orono and Cornell University where he received his PhD in Educational Administration.

Mark met his wife Betty (Colley) Shibles at the University of Maine and they were married for 56 years until her passing in 2017. Mark and Betty resided in Mansfield, Conn., for over 40 years before retiring to Maine.

Mark’s tremendous commitment to education spanned his career of 50 years. His career started as a high school history teacher and then he became a Department of the Army counterintelligence special agent before earning his PhD. At the University of Connecticut. Mark served as a faculty member for 30 years and the Dean of the Neag School of Education for over 10 years. He taught graduate courses in educational leadership and served as a major or associate advisor for over 130 completed PhD students.

At the national and international level, Mark served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and was also the national president of the National Association of Colleges and Schools of Education in State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and Affiliated Private Universities. In addition, he provided expert testimony to United States Senate committees and state legislative committees on educational policy. He served as a superintendent of a regional high school, including while as Dean, and was the founder and director of the University of Connecticut Center for Education Policy Analysis. Mark consulted for national and state governments, universities, foundations, professional associations, and numerous school districts.

Since retiring to Maine, he has been a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Maine Children’s Alliance; the Board of Visitors of the University of Maine at Farmington; and Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board to the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine.

And when not supporting educational endeavors, Mark (and Betty) could be found at UConn basketball games, tending to his home and summer cottage gardens, bird watching, fly fishing on a quiet stream or lake, connecting with longtime friends and colleagues, visiting his daughters and grandchildren, reading interesting books, or exploring the many backroads of his beloved state of Maine.

Mark’s care, compassion and love for his family, friends and colleagues, dry sense of humor, deep intellect and tireless energy to make an impact in the world of education will be missed by all.

Mark is survived by his daughter Jo-Anne Shibles and her four children: Madison, Cassie, Marty and Josh; daughter Stacey Pyle (Louis) and son Louis; sister Ellen Shibles; brother in-law Peter Colley (Jean); his cats- Annie and Blackie and many wonderful extended family, close friends and professional colleagues. Mark was preceded in death by his wife Betty and son-in-law Charlie Ambelang.

Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 386 Main St, Wilton, Maine with a reception to follow.

Gifts in memory of Mark can be made payable to the University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, Maine 04469-5792 or online at for the Mark R. Shibles Distinguished Visiting Professorship or gifts can be made in Mark’s memory for the Mark R. Shibles Graduate Fellowship at the University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. Checks made payable to the UConn Foundation, Inc. can be mailed to: The UConn Foundation, Inc. Attn: Data Services 2390 Alumni Dr., Unit 3206 Storrs, CT 06269-3206 or please call (800) 269-9965.

Condolences can be shared to The Shibles Family, PO Box 864, Wilton, Maine 04294 or in his Book of Memories at

Cremation and memorial services are being provided by the Wiles Remembrance Center, 137 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington.

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