Nationally Renowned Criminology Researcher Named New Dean of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
James Marquart is an Expert on Prison Organizations and Capital Punishment
Dr. James W. Marquart, one of the nation’s leading experts on prison systems and director of the criminology program at The University of Texas at Dallas, will become the new dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS).
Marquart joined UT Dallas in 2005 to lead the University’s criminology program. His research and teaching interests include prison organizations, capital punishment and criminal justice policy. He oversaw a major expansion of the program, attracting more students by developing a broader range of degrees. Under his leadership, the school began offering the first doctoral degree in criminology in Texas.
Marquart recently was elected president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, his field’s top accrediting body, which has about 2,500 members around the world. He was admitted to the Academic Fellows Program of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in 2007, a nonpartisan policy institute that supports research, strategic communications and investigative journalism.
“Dr. Marquart will bring a rare combination of talents to his new position as dean,” UT Dallas President David E. Daniel said. “He is a top-flight researcher, respected by his peers at this University and throughout his field. But he is also a gifted educator, an individual who communicates well with students and embraces all opportunities to enhance their learning experience.”
The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences has more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students. The school has 60 full-time faculty members and nearly 30 clinical and adjunct lecturers. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide range of programs, including: economics, political science, sociology, criminology, public affairs, international political economy, geography, geospatial information sciences, and public policy.
Marquart will succeed Dr. Brian Berry as dean this fall. A world-renowned geographer and member of the National Academy of Sciences, Berry took over as dean in 2005. During his time as dean, Berry expanded the faculty and helped develop innovative new degree programs designed to attract top students to UT Dallas. He plans to continue as a member of the EPPS faculty.
UT Dallas Provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal praised the University’s search committee for its hard work and determination to find the best person to lead the school into a new era. The committee knew the importance of choosing a new dean who understood the challenges faced by the school but was ready with fresh ideas about how to expand and enhance its reputation, Wildenthal said.
Dr. Denise Park, director of the Center for Vital Longevity and Distinguished University Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, led the search committee. Two additional candidates from other universities also were considered as finalists for the position.
“It was a pleasure and honor to chair this committee,” Park said. “I think all of us were pleased at how well we worked together and how readily we achieved consensus as we narrowed the field of candidates. Dr. Marquart enjoys an outstanding national reputation as a researcher and simultaneously is held in the highest regard as an administrator. He will make a terrific dean for the school.”
The primary focus of Marquart’s recent research involves the consequences of legal intervention on prison organizations. He recently advised the California Prison System as it implemented the racial integration of its prisons. He also is the former director of the National Institute for Victim Studies. National media organizations often seek his expert opinion regarding incarceration issues.
“I feel extremely honored to have been chosen as the new dean, and I am very grateful and appreciative of the support shown to me throughout this search process,” Marquart said. “I’m looking forward to this new responsibility with a great deal of optimism, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve the people of the school and the University.”
Marquart said he plans to build on the momentum generated by a variety of new programs and energized students.
“We are blessed with strong faculty at all levels, excellent support staff and great students,” he said. “The task at hand is to spread the word about the excellent programs available in EPPS and at UT Dallas. We want to encourage the high-quality research activity of our faculty members, and that will help to expand the reputation of our school regionally and nationally. This, in turn, will help us attract larger numbers of the best and brightest undergraduate and graduate students to our campus.”
Marquart has recently served as an associate provost for UT Dallas. This administrative role has helped him learn how to navigate within the UT System, enabling him to more effectively promote his school’s interests going forward.
“I’ve discovered a lot about the changes that are ahead for higher education,” he said. “I want us to be ahead of the curve, quick to adapt and improve.”
Marquart sees himself as a problem solver, and he welcomes the chance to listen to students, faculty and staff, and respond to their ideas and needs.
“I am looking forward to getting out there and talking to our students and to all of those potential students,” he said. “I want to let them know what our school has to offer. We’re on the verge of becoming a Tier One university, and this is an exciting time to be at UT Dallas.”
Marquart was a faculty member at Sam Houston State University from 1986 to 2005. While completing his doctorate, he worked as a prison guard in the Texas Department of Corrections and the Missouri State Penitentiary.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement at Western Illinois University, his master’s degree in sociology at Kansas State University and his doctorate in sociology from Texas A&M University.
Dr. James W. Marquart’s academic interests include prison organizations, capital punishment and criminal justice policy. Under his leadership, UT Dallas began offering Texas’ first doctoral degree in criminology.Marquart takes over dean's seat from Dr. Brian Berry, who has held the position since 2005.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].