Shaun Bowler Appointed as Graduate Division Dean

Bowler’s position becomes effective on July 1; Kevin Esterling, current interim dean, will return full-time to teaching

Shaun Bowler

Shaun Bowler has been appointed dean of the Graduate Division effective July 1, 2017. ucr file

Shaun Bowler, distinguished professor of political science, has been appointed dean of the Graduate Division effective July 1.

Cindy Larive, interim provost and executive vice chancellor, made the announcement on May 24. Bowler has served as both the department chair and graduate program advisor for Political Science. Over the past five years, Bowler has been in the CHASS college office serving as the associate dean for social sciences, and interim dean of the college during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Bowler came to UCR as an assistant professor of political science in 1989. He is a native of the UK and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1979 at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth; his master’s degree in 1982 at the University of Essex; and his Ph.D. in 1988 at Washington University in St. Louis.

Bowler is the co-author of “Demanding Choices: Opinion Voting and Direct Democracy,” and has published in various journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics.

The new appointment is a mix of excitement and nervousness, he admitted. The priority on his to-do list, is “to listen to people’s ideas about graduate education on campus.”

“I’ve got a lot to learn. I’d like to invite them to grab a cup of tea and chat,” said Bowler, whose political science work focuses on questions of representation and elections. He said current Interim Dean of the Graduate Division Kevin Esterling, was a great role model for this position. Esterling will return full-time to his teaching and research in the department of Political Science and the School of Public Policy, Larive said.

For the past 28 years that Bowler has taught at UCR, he has seen the endless commitment staff and faculty have toward making sure students succeed. That’s been the driver behind his own work.

“Riverside is a great school. We are what public universities should be,” said Bowler, who will oversee more than 3,000 graduate students. Many of them are first in their family to attend college, he said. UCR has about 50 graduate programs that range from dance to biochemistry.

One of the things he most cherishes about the campus is the interconnectivity between faculty and staff. This extends outward into the community, he said.

“The sense of community and communal purpose is stronger here that in other places. We are not separate from the community, we are part of it,” said Bowler.

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