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News Release

December 7, 2011

Ohio University taps Shields for vice president, dean position 

Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit recently announced the appointment of Joseph Shields as vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the graduate college. The position is effective immediately. 

Shields, who is currently serving in the position in an interim role, was selected for the permanent job during the course of a national search. 

"Joe believes wholeheartedly in the capacity of Ohio University faculty, students and staff to make major contributions to the development of knowledge in all realms," Benoit said. "He is passionate about the vital connection between research and creative activity and teaching."

Shields, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, joined Ohio University in 1996. 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.  For six years, Shields has served as chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department, one of the University's most active research departments.

"Ohio University has an enviable history of accomplishment in creative activity, research and graduate education," Shields said. "I am excited by the prospect of working with our talented faculty, students and staff to further the university's mission in the advancement of knowledge and culture."

An expert in nebular astrophysics, Shields studies the consequences of supermassive black holes in galaxies. Throughout his career, he has maintained an active research program involving international collaborations, which have resulted in substantial federal grant support and peer-reviewed publications.  He has served as a scientific editor of the premier journal in the field of astrophysics and is a frequently invited participant 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.

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