Robert E. Martin retired in 2008 as professor emeritus at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, after serving as the Boles Professor of Economics since 1996. He is the author of a book on higher education economics, Cost Control, College Access, and Competition in Higher Education (Edward Elgar, 2005), as well as the author of 36 articles and two book chapters.

Martin received his Ph.D. in economics from Southern Methodist University in 1979 and began his academic career as an assistant professor of economics at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he earned tenure and promotion to full professor. He left LSU to become department chairman at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in 1992. While at UTA, he served as interim dean of the College of Business. He left UTA to become the Boles Professor of Economics at Centre College. Before receiving his Ph.D., Martin worked for seven years in publicly held corporations and as a consultant; he was responsible for mergers/acquisitions, operational budgeting, capital budgeting, and energy studies.