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College of Arts & Sciences

About the Dean

Madeline Sudnick (Left) presents her research to Vice President for Research; and Dean of the Graduate College Joe Shields (Center) and President Nellis at the Student Expo. Photo by Ben Siegel

Madeline Sudnick (left) presents her research to Vice President for Research; and Dean of the Graduate College Joe Shields (Center) and President M. Duane Nellis at the Student Expo. Photo by Ben Siegel

Dr. Joseph Shields was named Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, effective May 12, 2018.

The College of Arts & Sciences is central to Ohio University's transformative learning experience. The foundational instruction for the entire university, delivered through the general education and liberal arts curriculum, is provided by the College of Arts & Sciences. The college provides the primary instruction for approximately one-third of the majors on campus, as well as nearly half of the undergraduate credit hours on the Athens campus. In addition, the college offers a number of master's programs and eight doctoral degrees.

Shields, Professor of Physics & Astronomy, has served as OHIO’s Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College since 2011. He will serve as interim dean until a permanent dean of the College of Arts & Sciences is named.

His commitment to nurturing research at Ohio University builds on his own scholarship in nebular astrophysics. Shields' research involves studying the consequences of supermassive black holes in galaxies, using both ground- and space-based observatories. He served as a scientific editor of the premier journal in the field of astrophysics and served on scientific review panels that determine allocation of research time for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the National Optical and Radio Astronomy Observatories.

Shields joined OHIO's Physics & Astronomy Department in 1996. He chaired the department—one of the university’s most active research departments that also houses one of the institution’s largest doctoral programs—for six years until being named VP of research.

He received a B.S. in physics and astronomy from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley. 

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