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Dr. Steven Light
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Steve Light, Ph.D., is Interim Dean of the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at the University of North Dakota.
In summer 2013, Steve joined UND’s College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines as Interim Dean while continuing to serve as Associate Vice President. He looks forward to extending the College’s exceptional record of educating and developing outstanding professionals across the fields of nursing, social work, and nutrition and dietetics. Steve’s goals for the College include encouraging strategic mission and vision alignment, enhancing collaboration across curriculum and programs, advancing community outreach and partnerships, creating opportunities for leadership development and professional success, and developing a shared vision and roadmap for the College’s bright future.
As Associate Vice President, Steve provides strategic vision and leadership to advance the academic enterprise by developing, implementing, and coordinating high-impact initiatives stemming from the university's Exceptional UND strategic roadmap. He collaborates with the Division of Student Affairs on enrollment planning and retention, serves on the Executive Committee for UND’s Higher Learning Commission regional accreditation efforts, and co-chairs the Diversity Advisory Council. He has developed or led such initiatives as UND’s new First-Year Experience Seminars, enhanced student research, experiential learning, and Honors Program opportunities, and professional leadership development for faculty and department chairs.
As a faculty member, Steve is a Professor of Political Science and Public Administration who teaches American government and constitutional law. Among other honors, he received UND’s highest annual award for overall faculty excellence and was nominated CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year.
As Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy, Steve is widely recognized as a leading expert on Indian gaming, federal Indian law and policy, and tribal-state-federal intergovernmental relations. His fifty publications include three books on tribal gaming, the first of which, Indian Gaming and Tribal Sovereignty: The Casino Compromise, was featured on C-SPAN2's Book TV. Steve has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and is a regular commentator in such media as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He and regular collaborator Kathryn R.L. Rand (Dean, UND School of Law) have delivered invited lectures at numerous institutions, including American University, Boston University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and blog on tribal gaming at Indian Gaming Now.
Steve’s most recent book explores the changing dynamics of voting rights and redistricting. His publications on higher education include teaching about race, understanding the role of Historically Black Institutions, incorporating American Indian tribes into the curriculum, and designing senior capstones to assess student learning outcomes.
Steve enjoys promoting fitness and wellness at UND, and is a marathoner who enjoys sharing with a wide range of audiences the connections he sees between running and successful personal and professional leadership.