Margaret Marsh holds the title of University Professor of History at Rutgers, where she divides her time between the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on the Camden campus and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research on the New Brunswick campus. From 1998 to 2011 she served in several senior leadership positions at the university, including as Interim Chancellor of the Camden Campus from May 2007 to July 2009. Retiring from administration as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers-Camden, in 2011, she then became a full-time faculty member.
Among the major achievements of her tenure as dean and interim chancellor at Rutgers was the development and inauguration of Rutgers–Camden’s first Ph.D. programs. The Ph.D. program in Childhood Studies, approved in 2006 and launched in 2007, was both Rutgers–Camden’s first Ph.D. program and the first in this field in the United States. Two other Ph.D. programs, in Public Affairs/Community Development and Computational and Integrative Biology, quickly followed. These programs initiated the process of Rutgers–Camden’s transformation from a Master’s level to a doctoral university, a process completed in 2018 during the administration of Chancellor Phoebe Haddon.
Marsh was previously a professor of History at Temple University, where she developed the Ph.D. program in Women’s History and served as Chair of the History Department. She is the author of numerous articles in journals including the American Quarterly, the Journal of American History, and Pennsylvania History, and of chapters in books on topics ranging from the history of motherhood to the history of masculinity. She has written four books: Anarchist Women (1981); Suburban Lives (1990); The Empty Cradle: Infertility in America from Colonial Times to the Present (1996/paperback 1999), a collaboration with her sister Wanda Ronner, a gynecologist; and The Fertility Doctor: John Rock and the Reproductive Revolution (2008), which is also a collaboration with Dr. Ronner. Their third book, The Pursuit of Parenthood: Reproductive Technology from Test-Tube Babies to Uterus Transplants, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in August, 2019.
The research for The Pursuit of Parenthood was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which awarded Professor Marsh and Dr. Ronner an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. Marsh was also the PI, with Dr. Ronner as co-PI, on two major multi-year research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities – the first for The Empty Cradle from 1990-1994, and the second, from 1999 to 2005, for The Fertility Doctor. Professor Marsh has also been a History Fellow at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. In 1996 she received Temple University’s Paul W. Eberman Faculty Research Prize for excellence in scholarly contributions, and The Empty Cradle was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice Magazine. In recognition of both her scholarship and service to the university, Rutgers named her a University Professor in June, 2009.
Her record of service to her profession and the community has included serving on numerous non-profit boards and committees including the Richard Stockton Foundation from 1977-1981 (as Vice-President); the New Jersey Humanities Council (1983-1990); the College Outcomes Evaluation Committee of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education (1986-1988); the Board of Directors of the Urban History Association (1994 -1997; and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Selection Committee for History Fellows (1990 – present). She was a Liaison Officer for the Faculty Resources Network for the Ford Foundation and New York University in 1984 and 1985 and has chaired several prize committees and nominating committees for various professional organizations. She has chaired the Finance Committee of the American Association for the History of Medicine and served as Treasurer for the organization. She also served as Treasurer and Member of the Executive Committee of Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey until its merger in October of 2016 and is a member of the Board of Managers of Moore College of Art and Design. She served as a consultant for the film, Emma Goldman: An Exceedingly Dangerous Woman, has been interviewed on various topics by NPR and the Discovery Health Channel. She also appeared in two PBS American Experience documentaries, one on the birth control pill and the other on in vitro fertilization. For the latter program, she also served as a consultant.