Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dr. Mark Wrighton named Dean of the UIS College of Public Affairs and Administration

Dr. J. Mark Wrighton has been named Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration (PAA) at the University of Illinois Springfield, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Wrighton holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa and will be coming to UIS from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he has served as an associate dean and is a member of the tenured faculty.

"I am excited about the opportunity to collaborate with those at the forefront of UIS' public affairs mission. As a lifelong experiential learner and teacher, I greatly appreciate their efforts in this endeavor,” said Wrighton.

His areas of research expertise include American political institutions, congressional elections, and political behavior, and he is a frequent national commentator on American elections and local political trends.

“In assessing Dr. Wrighton’s strengths, the search committee noted that he will bring a strong and inclusive style of leadership, a commitment to academic excellence, and an appreciation for interdisciplinary collaboration to his new role as dean. I certainly agree with that assessment,” said Dr. Lynn Pardie, UIS Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Wrighton has published research in the American Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Behavior, Congress and the Presidency, and The American Review of Politics and was a Fellow in the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program.

“The College's faculty and students are fully engaged in the process of turning theory into practice, and I look forward to the process of exploring with them the possibilities for innovative programming and opportunities to attract students to the state capitol,” said Wrighton. “As part of this process, we will also be exploring ways to build ties across campus and in the community to further UIS' mission of inspiring students toward lives of leadership and civic engagement. I am pleased to be joining an institution dedicated to these pursuits."

Wrighton’s appointment as Dean of the UIS College of Public Affairs and Administration will begin on July 1, 2013.

For more information, contact Derek Schnapp, UIS director of public relations at 217/206-6716 or email


The University of Illinois Springfield is a premier public university that provides students with a high-quality liberal arts education, exceptional public affairs opportunities, and outstanding professional preparation programs. UIS has four core strengths: (1) a teaching-focused academic experience; (2) an abundance of opportunities to collaborate; (3) a right-sized supportive community; and (4) a tradition of educating public servants and leaders. UIS has four colleges: business and management; education and human services; liberal arts and sciences; and public affairs and administration.

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