Tuesday March 31, 2015

Jason Pierce Named Dean

The University of Dayton has named Jason Pierce dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University's largest academic unit.

Pierce, who served as chair of the Department of Political Science at the University for five years, was named interim dean of the College last summer. He will start his four-year term on July 1.

"Jason has demonstrated the strategic vision, intellectual integrity and dedication to the College of Arts and Sciences’ educational and research missions that will equip him to be a highly effective dean," said Paul Benson, interim provost. "He brings a strong commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, substantial administrative accomplishment and deep dedication to the University of Dayton’s Catholic and Marianist mission."

Pierce's strengths include his active commitment to faculty governance and transparent decision-making, a thoughtful and collaborative leadership style, and an ambitious vision for the College of Arts and Sciences, Benson said.

"The University of Dayton is such a vibrant academic community. I look forward to working with others to advance its mission and am honored to serve in this capacity," Pierce said.

Pierce said among his priorities will be to expand experiential learning and increase hands-on learning opportunities that also allow students to explore different vocations. Supporting faculty research is also a key priority, especially through the University's interdisciplinary research centers, he said.

As interim dean, Pierce has steered the launch of the Hanley Sustainability Institute, funded by the largest individual gift in University history, initiated a master plan for renovating the Science Center, and started a strategic planning process for the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.  

As political science chair, Pierce led the development of many high-impact research and experiential learning initiatives in the College of Arts and Sciences, including the Human Rights Center, McGrath Human Rights Research Fellows Program, Statehouse Civic Scholars Program and Dayton2DC, a career immersion experience in the nation's capital.

He has been instrumental in the development of a summer research practicum in Malawi and the nonprofit and community leadership graduate certificate program. This summer, he will lead a team to expand the University's relationships in sub-Saharan Africa.

As dean, Pierce will serve as chief academic and administrative officer for the College, which includes 18 departments, nine interdisciplinary programs, four centers or institutes, more than 300 faculty and 80 staff members who support 56 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Pierce is a highly regarded expert on international constitutional justice, with a specialization on the High Court of Australia. His 2006 book, Inside the Mason Court Revolution, was widely reviewed and received extensive media coverage in Australia.  His latest book project, currently under contract, focuses on the role of regime politics in Australia’s High Court.

Pierce earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Texas at Austin and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Australia. He joined the University of Dayton's Department of Political Science as an assistant professor in 2002.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.

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