As the leaders of the university’s colleges and schools, Georgia State’s academic deans foster top-notch research, teaching and service as they work to develop the next generation of leaders. Here are their visions for our next decade.

With our distinguished faculty pioneering the latest advances in research and technology, Georgia State continues to lead with new approaches to higher education and student success. Spurred by the pluck that has always defined the university, our students, faculty, staff and administrators have collaborated to drive Georgia State to the forefront of a national discussion over education in the 21st century — and we’re leading that conversation.

Amid the fanfare that accompanies record enrollment, retention, research endowments and national rankings, eight individuals work behind the scenes day and night to ensure our colleges continue to climb. These are our deans. A dean doesn’t simply oversee faculty. And a dean doesn’t merely secure funding for the college’s most vital research projects either. And while no special degree program, international exchange or study abroad venture can move forward without the dean’s oversight and approval, our deans still do more. They continue to lead their fields as faculty-scholars, addressing crucial scientific and societal problems that have a major impact on people around the world. They’ve been working to keep us on the rise and, over the next 10 years, will do their part to grow Georgia State into a consistently great, global university.


Mary Beth Walker
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Walker“Our vision for the future of the Andrew Young School is to expand our contributions to policy conversations on all levels, whether community, state, regional, national or international. We envision our students, faculty and graduates contributing to a world where evidence-based policy analysis better meets the rapidly growing demand for public accountability at every level in government.

We want to bridge the worlds of public engagement and deci- sion-making in the management of private, public and nonprofit organizations. We will graduate greater numbers of public, private and nonprofit leaders who can work to improve the design, financing, evaluation and administration of socially and fiscally responsible programs.

We will continue to attract the most talented and deserving students from diverse backgrounds, as well as top-level faculty and research associates who will challenge our students to trans- form themselves and their communities.

Our alumni — both undergraduates and advanced — will find the knowledge they gain at Georgia State vital to strengthening communities in Atlanta, Georgia, our nation and across the globe.

And in achieving this vision, as our school becomes a model for creating and translating scholarly policy work into practical community action, we will rise to join the top five percent of the nation’s best public policy schools.”

Economist Mary Beth Walker’s area of expertise is applied econometrics and statistics. Her research has spanned areas in education economics, public finance and health economics


Michael Eriksen
School of Public Health

Eriksen“In the U.S., seven out of every 10 deaths can be attributed to chronic diseases, also referred to as non-communicable diseases. By 2020, that’s expected to be true across the globe. We see our students, faculty and graduates playing a major role in developing solutions for urban populations in Atlanta and around the world.

We see the School of Public Health becoming a leader in the research and delivery of large-scale programs that will address chronic disease, urban health disparities and other pressing public health problems.

We are in a unique position to focus on the public health challenges of cities and to grow our global reach. Though we are a young program, we have more than 500 alumni, most of whom work in metro Atlanta, and we are a top destination for Fulbright Scholars. More than 50 international health professionals have trained at the school through the prestigious Fulbright program and are now working to improve health in their home countries.

Diversity in our student body and faculty is also a strength. In coming years we will grow enrollment, continue to recruit internationally recognized faculty and expand our reach in the world of pub- lic health. We strive to be the program of choice for students and researchers who want to join us in finding hands-on solutions based on rigorous scientific study.”

Michael Eriksen is an international public health expert and founding director of the School of Public Health. He is author of the Tobacco Atlas, the most comprehensive resource on the tobacco epidemic


Larry Berman 
Honors College

Berman“The mission of the Honors College is to recruit diverse, motivated and dedicated students who seek to make a difference in the world. By expanding the quality and quantity of scholarships offered, we will demonstrate that students from all backgrounds can achieve academic and career success at high rates. We will be at the forefront of the university’s efforts to provide engaged students with unparalleled undergraduate educational experiences. Through our innovative programs, faculty mentoring and interdisciplinary curriculum, our students will be challenged to explore their intellectual curiosities.

We will develop a global experience for our students by creating pathways, regardless of financial circumstances, to expand their world while studying abroad. This experience will set our students apart from the mainstream and give them the opportunity to thrive in a global environment.

Our students and graduates, prepared for a lifetime of achievement, will include public and private-sector leaders, as well as Goldwater, Marshall, Gates and Rhodes scholars. We will become a national model for developing undergraduate scholars into global leaders and an epicenter for excellence and opportunity.”

Larry Berman is the founding dean of the Honors College and an internationally heralded scholar on the American presidency and the war in Vietnam.

Nancy Kropf 

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions

Kropf“We envision a Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions that will lead the Southeast in healthcare research and clinical education to deliver the best new healthcare professionals available to the marketplace. At some point in life, everyone will need a healthcare professional.

The Lewis School will create models of purposeful and practical leadership for educating the “people who treat people” and ultimately providing exemplary care to all patients.Expanding our scholarship base will allow us to bring in top undergraduate and graduate healthcare students who can anticipate and meet the healthcare needs of multi-cultural, urban populations.Growing the environment for visiting scholars, named chairs and endowed professorships will help us to expose our students to top experts in healthcare education. Continuing to improve our simulation labs will also boost our students’ educational experience.

Enhancing community partnerships allows us to place our students in the best clinical training facilities, and building our study abroad programs provides a more robust international clinical experience.”

Nancy Kropf is a gerontologist and social worker who researches older adults as care providers for younger generations.

William Long

College of Arts and Sciences

Long“The College of Arts and Sciences — which offers more than 80 degrees in subjects ranging from astronomy to philosophy to more than 15,000 students — is at the heart of Georgia State. We are the primary educator of Georgia State undergraduates, the largest graduate program and an essential driver of our ascendance as a research university.

The college has also grown in stature as a place of impactful research. We call it “research with a purpose.” To give just one measure of our growth, our federally sponsored research has doubled over the past five years. Our faculty are, quite literally, working on a cure for cancer (and other diseases), discovering new solar systems, combating the recruitment of young people into terrorist networks, writing award-winning novels and producing new forms of artistic expression through their creative works.

The college continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s students and society by preparing the next generation of leaders, researchers, creators and teachers.

This innovation and progress benefit one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation. Many universities pursue excellence by excluding people. At Georgia State, we do it by including people. I look forward to working with our alumni and friends to offer more access to ever more excellent programs as the College of Arts and Sciences advances.”

William Long’s fields of scholarly interest include health diplomacy, international cooperation and conflict resolution, international political economy and international trade.

Paul Alberto

College of Education and Human Development

Alberto“In the next decade, we will expand our reputation for preparing professionals to work in some of our most challenged communities and contributing to the interruption of intergenerational poverty.

By offering creative degrees, we will provide students the opportunity to engage new ideas and 21st century expectations. Most of our teacher graduates are in high-need schools where they remain for at least five years. At the same time, graduates in human service professions work with families, schools and agencies in these communities.

We will continue to support scholars through interdisciplinary centers. High levels of funding from government, foundation and corporate partners will continue to ensure that our researchers provide students and community partners with the latest research-based practices.

A continuing strength will be our partnerships with local schools and community and government agencies, which provide their perspectives on the research we conduct and the programs we offer as well as provide opportunities for residency training.

We will continue building a legacy of graduating professionals with knowledge, skills and inspiration they need to move lives forward.”

Paul A. Alberto is a Regents’ Professor in Intellectual Disabilities. His research interests include functional literacy, behavioral instruction strategies and functional analysis.

Richard Phillips

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Phillips“A century ago, the founding vision for the J. Mack Robinson College of Business was to educate working professionals, the nontraditional students of that era, to produce business-savvy professionals ready to make an impact in the community and around the world. Robinson has maintained this tradition of educating students from all backgrounds to produce visionary business leaders.

The college’s current strategic plan — Advancing Vision 2020 — seeks to enhance this by aspiring to the vision that “No one gets closer to business than Robinson.”

One way we will get students closer to business is to connect them with mentors and to internship opportunities where they solve problems with real businesses.

We will expand our career readiness and professionalism programs and in- crease scholarships that allow our students to seek their potential.

We will invest in the people and systems that bridge academia and practice. Robinson will create new academic institutes of distinction.

J. Mack Robinson’s naming gift gave the college the identity and resources necessary to be one of the finest business schools in the world. With his legacy in mind and our sights on the future, we will achieve the vision that ‘”No one gets closer to business than Robinson.”‘

Richard D. Phillips’ areas of research include the financial risk management practices of insurers, financial pricing models of insurance and various regulatory issues as they pertain to the insurance industry.

Steven J. Kaminshine

College of Law 

Kaminshine“The College of Law is consistently recognized for its integrative approach to legal education and interdisciplinary research that studies law in the context of societal problems.

We will be recognized as a top 50 law school and among the leading public law schools in the nation — a school that capitalizes on its urban setting and attracts a highly talented and diverse student body while ensuring access through a commitment to both full- and part-time legal education. We envision expanding our role as a national leader in preparing students for success in rapidly changing professional environments by further integrating experiential education, professional development and global competency throughout the program.

Our world-class faculty will engage in and address key legal and policy issues facing our city, state, nation and world through rigorous and meaningful scholarship that improves our profession and society.

Embracing its central downtown location and aided by its new, accessible state-of-the-art law facility, Georgia State Law will help lead public debate by bringing the business leaders, policymakers, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the legal profession together to resolve disputes and find common ground.”

Steven Kaminshine’s scholarship focuses on labor and employment issue. He is a frequent speaker on labor and employment law topics.