Dr. Thomas J. Shields, Associate Professor of Education, chair of the SPCS Graduate Education program, and director of the Center for Leadership in Education, has been named the School of Professional & Continuing Studies Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

The appointment is effective July 1, 2018.

Shields’ appointment represents the first time in the School’s recent history that an associate dean has been appointed from among its faculty. The appointment follows a competitive nomination and application process open to SPCS faculty at or above the rank of associate professor.

As chair of the Graduate Education program, Shields teaches education courses in SPCS and in the School of Arts & Sciences. He also teaches occasionally for the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

Shields joined the University in 2001 as a visiting assistant professor in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and joined SPCS in 2005 as Director of the Center for Leadership in Education, a partnership between SPCS and the Jepson School.

During his tenure at the School, Shields has been instrumental in developing our graduate programs in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies along with organizing and hosting the Next Generation Leadership Academy for aspiring educational leaders in the Richmond region.

During the course of his academic career, Shields has published in various academic journals, including Educational Administration Quarterly, School Leadership & Management, Academic Exchange Quarterly, Politics and Policy, and Journal of Black Studies.

Shields has worked with local academics, practitioners, and advocates to highlight the rising segregation in education in the Richmond region. In spring 2013, he led the organization of the Looking Back, Moving Forward conference that examined the issue of equity, opportunity, race and socio-economic status in local schools.

More recently, with colleagues from the University of Richmond’s Spatial Analysis Lab and the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, he issued Confronting School and Housing Segregation in the Richmond: Can We Live and Learn Together? a report highlighting the relationship between housing and education.

As a member of the University of Richmond community, Shields has served on a number of committees including the Academic and Enrollment Management Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Provost’s Ethics Initiative Committee and the Geospatial Strategy Committee.

As the newly appointed Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Shields will provide oversight and leadership to academic functions of the School for both adjunct faculty and students. He also will serve as a resource for members of the School’s full-time faculty.

Shields brings to this new role a student-centered service orientation, a focus on applied learning to program design and delivery, and experience in developing and evaluating programs.

This appointment follows the announcement of Dr. Patricia J. Brown’s retirement after nearly 23 years of service as the School’s Senior Associate Dean, effective June 30. Brown served as chief architect of many of the academic programs offered by the School; Shields appointment will build on Brown’s vision and strong leadership.

Senior Associate Dean, Academic Programs
Associate Professor, Continuing Studies
School Liason, AFAC
Program Chair, Graduate Education
Associate Professor, Education
Director, Center for Leadership in Education
Educational leadership
School leadership