Shields Named Dean of the Graduate School and International Education

Todd G. Shields
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Todd G. Shields

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Todd G. Shields, the interim dean of the University of Arkansas Graduate School and International Education, has been named dean of the Graduate School, effective July 1.

A professor of political science, Shields has served as interim dean since July 1, 2010, while also serving as interim associate dean for academic affairs of the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. Additionally, Shields is the director of the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. His interim appointment at the Clinton School ends June 30, but he will continue as director of the Blair Center.

“Dr. Shields has done an exceptional job in the past year, working essentially two full-time jobs in two cities that are 200 miles apart,” said Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “He has merged our international student services into a new unit within the Graduate School and International Education, and has developed relationships with the many constituencies served by this area. We look forward to seeing the benefits of the joint collaborative projects that will develop from this merger.”

Chancellor G. David Gearhart said Shields is a great fit for this position, and brings many personal skills and talents to the job, as well as an extensive background as a researcher.

“Todd has demonstrated great patience and enthusiasm over this past year during a challenging assignment; at the same time, he has brought energy to the merger of our international student services and the Graduate School. With his experience as a successful administrator, I expect we’ll see an exciting future for the Graduate School and International Education under his leadership,” Gearhart said. 

Shields came to the University in 1994 after earning his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in political science at the University of Kentucky. He also has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami (Ohio) University. He previously served as chair of the department of political science at the University of Arkansas from 2001 to 2008. He served as associate director of the Fulbright Institute of International Relations from 2000 to 2010, and from 2003 to 2006 he was co-principal investigator on a project to develop graduate degree programs in Tunisia.

He has published dozens of journal articles and is the co-author or co-editor of four books, including The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns, the 2009 winner of the Robert E. Lane Award for the best book in Political Psychology, awarded by the American Political Science Association. He is also the co-author of Money Matters: The Effects of Campaign Finance Reform on Congressional Elections as well as co-editor of The Clinton Riddle: Interdisciplinary Perspectives of the 42nd President and New Voices in the Old South: How Women and Minorities Influence Southern Politics.

In spring 2000, Shields proposed creating the Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society in honor of Diane D. Blair’s 30 years as professor of political science at the university and her myriad contributions to research, teaching and public service. The center was funded through a special Congressional appropriation in 2001. Since then the center has financially supported graduate students, important regional polls, meetings, conferences, projects and most recently the national Blair-Rockefeller poll.

During the last capital campaign, Shields was instrumental in securing funds that will endow three distinguished chairs in political science.

“I have been honored to work with the amazing staff and faculty of the Graduate School and International Education this past year,” said Shields. “They are so committed and passionate about graduate students and international students. I am grateful to Chancellor Gearhart and Provost Gaber for their support, and I look forward to serving the Graduate School and International Education as dean.”

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