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July 17, 2006

Sheldon Kamieniecki named dean of social sciences

By Jennifer McNulty

Sheldon Kamieniecki, a professor of political science at the University of Southern California, has been named dean of the Division of Social Sciences.

Photo: Sheldon Kamieniecki
Sheldon Kamieniecki

Kamieniecki, whose appointment was effective July 11, specializes in environmental policy, elections, voting behavior, and public opinion.

As dean of social sciences, he will oversee one of the largest of five academic divisions at UCSC, home to nine departments that offer more than 35 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Interim dean Michael Hutchison, a professor of economics who assumed the post when Martin M. Chemers was appointed interim executive vice chancellor in 2004, will return to teaching.

"Michael Hutchison has provided exemplary leadership to the campus, and I thank him for his service," said UCSC Executive Vice Chancellor and Campus Provost David Kliger. "It is truly an honor to welcome Professor Kamieniecki to UCSC. His outstanding reputation as a scholar, teacher, and administrator precedes him, and the UC Santa Cruz community is delighted to welcome him."

Kamieniecki has taught at USC since 1981. He is the author of the new book Corporate America and Environmental Policy: How Often Does Business Get Its Way? (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006) and coeditor with Michael E. Kraft of the forthcoming volume Business and Environmental Policy: Corporate Interests in the American Political System (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, in press).

"This is a terrific opportunity for me, and I look forward to helping raise even higher the national stature of the departments, research centers, and programs of the division," said Kamieniecki. "The potential of UC Santa Cruz campus is unlimited."

At USC, Kamieniecki served since 1993 as a member of the executive board of the Center for Research on Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Engineering. He became an affiliate of USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development in 2002. He was also director of The Urban Initiative for USC, served a six-year term as chair of the Political Science Department, was founding director of the Environmental Studies Program, and held numerous other leadership positions on campus. He is the recipient of the 1999 Raubenheimer Award for Outstanding Senior Faculty, recognizing excellence in teaching, research, and service, the highest award offered by the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at USC.

His many teaching awards include the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Division of Social Sciences and Communication and the University Associates Award for Outstanding Teacher.

Kamieniecki's research interests include numerous aspects of environmental policymaking, including public representation, the influence of business, regulation through strategic planning, sustainability, and environmental politics in the international arena. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he earned his bachelor's degree, master's, and doctorate in political science at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

The Division of Social Sciences has earned national recognition for the quality of its research and teaching. The campus was ranked first in the nation among public universities for the quality of its research productivity in social sciences. Popular among students, the Social Sciences Division confers nearly half of the undergraduate degrees awarded by UCSC each year. The division's major research centers include the New Teacher Center; the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems; the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies; the Santa Cruz Center for International Economics; and the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community. In April, division alumna Dana Priest (politics, '81), a Washington Post reporter, became the fifth UCSC graduate to win the Pulitzer Prize.

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