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Justin Dyer Named Dean of the School of Civic Leadership

Justin Dyer, the inaugural dean of the School of Civic Leadership.

AUSTIN, Texas — After conducting a national search, The University of Texas at Austin has named Justin Dyer as the inaugural dean of the School of Civic Leadership. Dyer, who has served as interim dean since the new school launched last year, is a professor of government in the College of Liberal Arts and served as the founding director of the University’s Civitas Institute. His appointment as dean is effective March 25.

“The School of Civic Leadership is building on UT’s longstanding tradition of educating future leaders in Texas and beyond,” said President Jay Hartzell. “The school takes an interdisciplinary approach that encourages students to access the unique learning opportunities available here at one of the world’s great research universities. With his vast expertise in American political thought, and with an appreciation for the institutions and ideas that have made free societies and economic prosperity possible, Dean Dyer will provide the leadership we need to maximize the school’s potential for educating civic leaders who can solve complex problems and make an impact on the world.”

As dean, Dyer will continue to build the University’s newest school and advance its mission to develop interdisciplinary programs and educate, develop and prepare the next generation of America’s civic leaders. He will continue to lead efforts to establish world-class programs that offer new opportunities and scholarship around teaching and research and recruit outstanding faculty members and students.

“We have an opportunity to build something significant at UT,” Dyer said. “The School of Civic Leadership will introduce students to the founding principles and great debates of the American political tradition and prepare them for civic leadership in the 21st century.”

Dyer joined UT in July 2022 after serving as a professor of political science and the founding director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. As the founding director, he established the Kinder Institute as a respected national leader, successfully bringing together students and faculty members with a wide range of backgrounds to study and discuss constitutional democracy in the U.S., as well as around the world.

Dyer writes and teaches in the fields of American political thought, jurisprudence and constitutionalism, with an emphasis on the perennial philosophical tradition of natural law. He is the author or editor of eight books and numerous journal articles, essays and book reviews, and he serves on the editorial board of the journal American Political Thought.

“Through his work in the Civitas Institute and School of Civic Leadership, Justin has already established himself as a strong academic leader with an extraordinary ability to bring people together in the exchange of different ideas, perspectives and experiences,” said Sharon L. Wood, executive vice president and provost. “I am thrilled to continue working with him as we build the new School of Civic Leadership into a world-class institution with the top faculty, students and researchers in the field.”

Dyer earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma on a wrestling scholarship and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in government from UT.