Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Union College.
Specialization: International and Comparative Political Economy, Governance, Development; Latin American Studies; Mexican political economy and politics.
Dean Strom Thacker became Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs in July 2016. Dean Thacker received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and developed what he calls “a deep and abiding affection for and lifelong passion for the liberal arts”. He received his B.A. from Pomona College, M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He previously served as Professor of International Relations and Political Science in the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and as the Associate Dean of the Faculty. Social Science, College of Arts and and Sciences at Boston University. In that role, he was responsible for 8 departments and 15 interdisciplinary centers, involving 190 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty and over 3,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students. He had earlier served as the Director of the University’s Latin American Studies Program.
Dean Thacker has a distinguished record as a teacher and scholar. He received the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence at Boston University. His research and teaching focus broadly on questions of political economy, governance and development, with a regional focus on Mexico and Latin America. He has published two books, both with Cambridge University Press: A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (with John Gerring, 2008), and Big Business, the State, and Free Trade: Construction Coalition in Mexico (2000). Additionally, he has published numerous articles in the American Political Science Review, the British Journal of Political Science, Business and Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Global Public Health, International Organization, the Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, the Journal of Politics, Social Science & Medicine, World Development, and World Politics. He also has an ongoing interest in the politics of foreign aid and lending, and the International Monetary Fund. He has received a number of prestigious appointments. Among them are: Visiting Fellow at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Visiting Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard; Susan Louise Dyer Peace Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford; and, Visiting Fulbright Researcher at Instituto Techonlogico Autonomo de Mexico.
In his role as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean Thacker has overall responsibility for the academic programs and services as well as the Department of Athletics and Information Technology Services.
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