Hird appointed dean of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

By Aviva Luttrell

(Courtesy of UMass)
(Courtesy of UMass)

John A. Hird was appointed dean of the University of Massachusetts’ College of Social at Behavioral Sciences, the University announced in a news release last week.

Hird has been interim dean of SBS since April 2014, according to the release. His new position will be effective April 1.

“John Hird has served with distinction and uncommon creativity in the role of interim dean and we are very fortunate that he will continue to provide leadership and vision in the years ahead,” Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Katherine S. Newman said in the release.

Hird is a professor of political science and public policy, and has been a UMass faculty member since 1989, according to the release. He was the founding director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration and the master’s program in public policy and administration from 1998 to 2006. He was also chair of the Department of Political Science from 2006 to 2011 until being appointed associate dean of SBS, according to the release. He was appointed senior associate dean in 2012.

“It’s a genuine privilege to be asked to serve the outstanding faculty, students and staff of SBS,” Hird said in the release.

“The college is showcasing the quality and relevance of its social science research for the Commonwealth and beyond through its ‘Social Science Matters’ project, substantially enhancing and highlighting the importance of the SBS student experience, and working with campus leaders to promote this great land-grant university. It’s an exciting time to be leading this ambitious college.”

Hird is currently working on a book with the University of California Press about the use of policy analysis in public policy making, as well as an edited international volume on policy analysis, according to the release. Both are expected in 2016.

Hird, along with UMass political scientist Bruce Desmarais, is also working on a National Science Foundation-funded project on the use of science in regulatory policy making.

He holds a doctorate in public policy from UC Berkeley and served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1987 to 1989, according to the release. He also served as an economist with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1988 to 1989.

Aviva Luttrell can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @AvivaLuttrell.[liveblog]