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Dr. Steven Light
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Steve Light (Ph.D. Northwestern, B.A. Yale, certificate, Harvard Management Development Program) is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor of Political Science & Public Administration, and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law & Policy. He also has served as Interim Dean of the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines.
As Associate Vice President, Steve provides strategic vision, leadership, and oversight to advance the academic enterprise by developing, implementing, and coordinating high-impact initiatives. His portfolio includes promotion and tenure, curriculum development, retention & strategic enrollment management, student engagement, institutional and programmatic quality assurance, leadership development, and university communications. He works with the Honors and Essential Studies Programs, Instructional Development, Writing Center, Assessment & Regional Accreditation, and Center for Community Engagement. He facilitates UND’s Chairs Leadership Institute. He is former co-founding chair of the Diversity Advisory Committee and was on the Executive Committee for UND’s successful Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation.
In 2013-14, Steve served as Interim Dean of UND’s College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines while continuing as Associate Vice President. He focused on extending the College’s exceptional record of educating and developing outstanding professionals in nursing, social work, and nutrition and dietetics.
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 as 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 a leading expert on Indian gaming 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, Wall Street Journal, and NPR. In 2014, Steve and frequent collaborator Kathryn R.L. Rand (Dean, UND School of Law) published a revised edition of their second book, Indian Gaming Law and Policy. They have spoken at industry conferences including the Global Gaming Expo and National Indian Gaming Association, and such schools as Boston University, Stanford, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Steve’s publications and presentations on higher education include transitioning from faculty to administration; being an effective interim dean; developing successful administrative leadership strategies; teaching about race and American Indian tribes; the role of Historically Black Institutions; and capstone course design and assessment. His recent solo book explored the changing dynamics of race, voting rights, and redistricting.
Steve recently ran his thirtieth full marathon – and basically enjoyed it! He enjoys promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle at UND, and appreciates sharing with a wide range of audiences the connections he sees between running and successful personal and professional leadership.