College Presidents Scholar to Lecture on ‘Persuaders in the Ivory Tower’ April 9

Mar 25, 2019 | Announcements

Stephen J. Nelson

Stephen J. Nelson

Stephen J. Nelson, considered a top scholar on the topic of college presidents in the United States, will speak at 5 p.m. April 9, 2019, in the University of Arkansas Graduate Education Building auditorium.

Nelson is the second speaker in a lecture series of the National Lab for the Study of the College President, a unit within U of A’s College of Education and Health Professions.

Nelson’s lecture is titled “Persuaders in the Ivory Tower: College Presidents Then and Now.”

“We are very excited that Dr. Nelson will be the National Lab for the Study of the College President speaker in April,” said G. David Gearhart, former U of A chancellor and director of the lab. “He is a prolific writer on the college presidency and heralded as one of the foremost authorities on the subject. His academic credentials are sterling and his scholarship focuses on the difficulties, problems, and opportunities of being a college president in today’s society. I encourage students and faculty to attend his address.”

Nelson is a professor of Educational Leadership at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he has served on the faculty since 2004. He is also a senior scholar in the Leadership Alliance at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

He began his career working in student affairs at Wellesley College and then Dartmouth College, serving as the director of the Collis College Center. He then went on to serve as dean of students at Bard College. He has served on the faculties of the University of Connecticut, Johnson and Wales University and Rhode Island College. He also has been a senior scholar and research associate at the New England Resource Center for Higher Education in Boston.

Nelson has written seven books on the subject of college presidents, including his most recent, John G. Kemeny and Dartmouth College: The Man, The Times, and the College Presidency; Decades of Chaos and Revolution: Showdowns for College Presidents; and Leaders in the Labyrinth: College Presidents and the Battleground of Creeds and Convictions. He also has published more than 50 academic and professional manuscripts and has spoken frequently on both the college presidency and morals in higher education.

A member of the editorial board of the Journal of College and Character, he was honored with the Donald McCullough Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Activities and has been interviewed on NBC News’ Today Show. He is a fellow in the Society for Values in Higher Education and has delivered the Dartmouth Commencement Address.

Nelson holds an A.B. from Gettysburg College, an M.A.R.S. from the Hartford Seminary, an M.Div. from Andover Newton, and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

The National Lab for the Study of the College President at the U of A also sponsors the Journal of Research on the College President. The journal focuses on research and ideas for best practices. The fall 2018 edition of the journal has a section devoted to “What College Presidents Should Know,” including articles on faculty expectations, adult students, and student affairs.