BRISTOL, R.I. – Roger Williams University has named educator Robert M. Eisinger, Ph.D., dean of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences, a role in which he will oversee all college operations as the school’s principal academic and administrative leader.
Eisinger comes to the University from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, where he has served as dean of the School of Liberal Arts since 2009 and the College’s associate vice president for academic services since February 2012.
The appointment of Dr. Eisinger concludes a search initiated in Fall 2012 and conducted by a search committee comprising faculty and administrators, co-chaired by Associate Professor of Visual Communication Roxanne O’Connell and School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation Dean Stephen White.
Eisinger will assume his new responsibilities on June 17, 2013. He says he looks forward to the early start, which will allow him to participate in the Orientation program for incoming students.
“I am delighted and honored to serve as the next dean of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences at Roger Williams University,” Eisinger says. “The superbly talented faculty and students have been most welcoming throughout the search process. I very much look forward to working with President Farish, Provost Workman and the entire RWU community.”
Professor of Political Science June Speakman, a member of the search committee, says that the breadth of academic programs housed in the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences translated to the need for a candidate with experience managing multiple disciplines.
“The CAS dean has to understand how a dance program works, how a lab science program works and how a psychology program works,” Speakman says. “We searched for someone with experience managing multiple disciplines fairly and equitably – Dean Eisinger offers a wealth of experience as a faculty member and as an administrator.”
Speakman says Eisinger also brings a sense of humor, a positive energy and enthusiasm and a willingness to advocate for the liberal arts at a University with multiple professional schools.
“Dean Eisinger spoke eloquently about the value of a liberal arts education and the things that students in professional schools take from liberal arts courses – the ability to think critically, to deal with conflicting ideas and to write and speak effectively.”
Prior to his posts at SCAD, Eisinger worked at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., from 1995 to 2009, where he was the department chair of the political science department. As director of student fellowships and awards, he led the effort that named an unprecedented nine students as Harry S. Truman Scholars, college juniors with leadership potential who have an interest in government or public sector service. During his tenure, he helped craft new courses and programs that brought politicians, journalists and social scientists to Lewis & Clark.
With a bachelor’s degree in political science earned in 1987 from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, Eisinger holds both master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Chicago.
He is an accomplished scholar with an extensive list of published works, many focused on public opinion, media and politics in the United States. His teaching fields include American politics, public opinion and research methods. His current research interests include the media’s coverage of presidential polling; political and photographic representation; the potential residual effects of positive behavior; incivility on the Internet; and why public leaders do not ask citizens for sacrifices.
Eisinger was named to the committee of departmental services of the American Political Science Association in 2010-12. In 2010, he earned the Greg Kannerstein Alumni Award from Haverford College.