AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson, executive vice president and provost at The University of Texas at Austin, was honored Saturday (March 27) for outstanding contributions to the College of Liberal Arts.
Ekland-Olson received the 1999 Pro Bene Meritis Award at the Liberal Arts Honors Convocation. A University-wide Honors Day ceremony was held later the same day. The Pro Bene Meritis Award was established to honor those who are committed to the liberal arts, and who have made outstanding contributions in professional or philanthropic pursuits. Ekland-Olson served as dean of the college from 1993 until last year when he was named executive vice president and provost.
Normally, the college names multiple recipients of the award each year but decided this spring to make Ekland-Olson the sole recipient.
“Sheldon Ekland-Olson enjoys and has earned the support of the faculty and of the liberal arts community,” said Dr. Robert King, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “He has been a valiant steward of the liberal arts legacy.”
A sociologist, Ekland-Olson is a specialist in the areas of criminal justice and prison violence. He is the author or co-author of several books including Texas Prisons: And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, and most recently, The Rope, the Chair and the Needle. He also has written on the subject of death and dying and the moral and ethical issues of life and death.
Before joining the UT Austin faculty in 1971, Ekland-Olson attended Yale Law School where he was the Russell Sage Fellow in Law and Society. Before that, he received a bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington.
While at UT, Ekland-Olson has taught in several interdisciplinary areas, including not only liberal arts but also the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs and the UT School of Law. As provost, he is the University’s chief academic officer and is responsible for college/school planning and advising, academic programs, faculty recruiting and management of the overall UT Austin academic budget.