Todd Shields Successfully Reappointed as Dean of U of A’s Fulbright College

by | Sep 5, 2019 | Announcements, Dean's Corner, Faculty Points of Pride

After recently completing a successful five-year performance review process, Todd Shields has been reappointed to another five-year term as dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

As dean, Shields represents and provides strategic vision and leadership for the largest college at the University of Arkansas, which consists of more than 7,600 students, three schools and 16 academic departments, provides the university’s core curriculum, and offers degrees in the fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

“It was clear to me from my own observations, and from the report provided by the Review Committee, that Fulbright College has made great strides under Dean Shields’ leadership,” said Jim Coleman, the university’s provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

In a letter to Shields’ faculty, Coleman noted several important accomplishments by Shields, including leading the creation of the university’s School of Art in 2017 after an unprecedented $120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. The School of Art is the first and only accredited, collegiate school of art in the state of Arkansas.

Shields also improved metrics associated with student success for the college, increased the college’s research profile, strengthened its outreach programs, and focused on continuously creating a positive culture within Fulbright College.

“Dean Shields was recognized as having a leadership style characterized by transparency, honesty, consistency and fairness, among other positive attributes,” Coleman said. “His leadership was also recognized for facilitating the improvement of several aspects of the culture of the deans’ office and the financial management of Fulbright College. He was characterized as being a tireless advocate for the college and for the importance of liberal arts and sciences.”

Coleman also acknowledged and thanked the Review Committee for their “excellent work.”

“The Review Committee oversaw an inclusive process, provided a thoughtful and detailed analysis, and communicated feedback to me and Dean Shields in assessing the important accomplishments that the dean and Fulbright College have made; challenges that face the Fulbright College and the dean; and recommendations for how the dean can have an even stronger positive impact,” Coleman said. “I was impressed by their work.”

The Review Committee included:

  • Heather Nachtmann (chair), associate dean for research in the College of Engineering
  • Amy Bell, senior director of fiscal operations for Fulbright College
  • Ana Bridges, associate professor in the Department of Psychological Science
  • Hershel Hartford, administrative support supervisor in the Department of Communication
  • Michael Riha, chair of the Department of Theatre
  • Greg Salamo, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics
  • Elecia Smith, previously the assistant dean of human resources, diversity and faculty services for Fulbright College, now executive director of the IDEALS Institute
  • Valandra, associate professor in the School of Social Work, and director of the African and African American Studies Program
  • Abigail Walker, then vice president of the Associated Student Government
  • Calvin White, Jr., associate professor in the Department of History, and associate dean of humanities for Fulbright College

The committee was also assisted by Rifi Raindriati, assistant to the associate deans in the College of Engineering.

About Dean Shields: Todd G. Shields of Fayetteville, Arkansas became dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas in 2014, after serving as a professor of political science since 1994 and as an administrator since 2000.

He continues to serve the university as a professor of political science, and previously held tenures as associate director for the J. William Fulbright Institute of International Relations; chair of the Department of Political Science; founding director of the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society, which was established through a special Congressional appropriation in 2001; interim associate dean of the Clinton School of Public Service; and dean of the Graduate School and International Education.

An accomplished educator and researcher, Shields’ research focuses on public opinion, campaigns, elections and political psychology.

He has published dozens of journal articles and is the co-editor or co-author of several books, including 2019’s The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics, and The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns, which won the American Political Science Association’s 2009 Robert E. Lane Award for the best book in political psychology.

Shields is also the co-author of Unlocking V.O. Key Jr.: “Southern Politics” for the Twenty-First Century 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.

Shields also has been widely recognized for his commitment to student success, teaching and research excellence, sustainable growth, and diversity.

Shields earned a doctorate and Master of Arts in political science from the University of Kentucky and holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in political science and one in psychology, from Miami University in Ohio.

For more information, please visit Fulbright College online.

Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 //