Steve Light is Professor of Political Science & Public Administration at the University of North Dakota, where he teaches American government, executive leadership strategy, public human resource management, American Indian politics & public affairs, and the senior capstone. Steve’s extensive higher-education leadership portfolio includes serving as interim Dean of Business & Public Administration (2017-18) and Nursing & Professional Disciplines (2013-14), Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (2011-17), and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education (2010-11). In these varied roles, Steve led, oversaw, or coordinated myriad strategic initiatives to advance UND’s educational, research, and outreach mission, including institutional strategic planning and reaccreditation; curriculum development and academic program review; faculty promotion, tenure, and evaluation; faculty appointments and personnel management; strategic enrollment management and retention; leadership development; budget implementation; institutional advancement and capital project design; and creating a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive university community.
Steve co-directs the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law & Policy, and is widely regarded as a leading expert on tribal gaming enterprises and economic development. Steve's roughly 60 publications include three books with Kathryn Rand (Professor and former Dean, UND School of Law), including Indian Gaming and Tribal Sovereignty, featured on C-SPAN's Book TV, and a solo book on voting rights.
Steve also teaches, researches, and presents on the jouney from faculty to administration; higher education trends; authentic, purposeful, and people-forward leadership strategy; goal-setting and strategic planning; and facilitating diverse perspectives. Steve received UND’s highest annual award for faculty excellence, and was nominated for CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year. An award-winning teacher, Steve enjoys inspiring students online and in the classroom with proven dynamic high-impact practices.
Steve has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and is quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, NPR, Washington Post, and New York Times. He has spoken at universities and industry events throughout the world, including Boston College, Columbia, Stanford, the University of Macau, and the Global Gaming Expo.
Steve enjoys marathoning, combining his passion for running and love of nature. An occasional fitness instructor, he is inspired by people of all goals and abilities who, whatever their aspirations, share a common sense of purpose, hard work, and lots of laughter.
B.A. Yale; Ph.D. Northwestern; Certificate, Harvard Management Development Program