University Selects Longtime Professor as New Dean of EPPS
Dr. Jennifer S. Holmes
Dr. Jennifer S. Holmes, who began her academic career at The University of Texas at Dallas 21 years ago, has been named dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS).
“I am excited and energized about the future of The University of Texas at Dallas in general, and the future of EPPS in particular,” Holmes said. “The future is arriving at lightning speed, and EPPS is broadening that discussion on a university level. It’s an honor to be asked to lead the school at this critical moment.”
Holmes had served as interim dean of the school since 2018. As the new dean, she oversees seven programs: criminology and criminal justice, economics, geospatial information sciences, public policy and political economy, political science, public and nonprofit management and sociology.
“Dr. Holmes’ lengthy professional experience at the University as a professor, program head and interim dean, and her vision for the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, made her the ideal choice to lead the school as dean,” said Dr. Inga Musselman, UT Dallas provost, vice president for academic affairs and the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership. “She provides strategic counsel to students, faculty and administrators, and she has expeditiously adapted her leadership style to meet immediate needs within EPPS.
“We are excited to have someone with Dr. Holmes’ expertise and abilities serve in this role. She has demonstrated good leadership skills during her tenure as interim dean, and her goals for the School align well with those of the University, namely to hire high-level, tenure-system faculty and to continue to attract excellent graduate and undergraduate students.”
“We are excited to have someone with Dr. Holmes’ expertise and abilities serve in this role. She has demonstrated good leadership skills during her tenure as interim dean, and her goals for the school align well with those of the University, namely to hire high-level, tenure-system faculty and to continue to attract excellent graduate and undergraduate students.”
A professor of political science, public policy and political economy, Holmes served as program head for both areas since 2014 and 2012, respectively. She is currently a member of the Political Science Field of Study Advisory Committee for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In 2011, she received the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, an honor reserved for faculty across the UT System who are recognized for exemplary service to students.
Her major areas of research are political violence, terrorism and political development with an emphasis on Latin America. She specifically focuses on four areas: the landscape ecology of conflict and post-conflict, the protection of critical infrastructures, urban quality of life, and the creation of real-time event data on political and social events in Latin America. In addition to numerous journal articles, Holmes is the author or editor of seven books on these topics.
Looking forward, Holmes has developed nationally funded research collaborations in the areas of critical infrastructure, cybersecurity and event data with colleagues in EPPS and the Department of Computer Science. She is spearheading and co-creating a new cybersecurity, technology and policy degree program that will start in the fall of 2020.
“This is the future of EPPS,” she said. “This new degree is a model for how we can partner with other parts of UTD. The policy side of cybersecurity will draw upon our areas of expertise in political science, public policy, economics and criminology as companies and organizations navigate the waters of regulation and new threats. In return, EPPS will benefit by being a lead player in helping firms and organizations learn how to operate in a way in which they can fulfill their core missions, maintain security, and stay compliant with laws and regulations.
“In other words, we are a critical partner moving forward in the story of UTD.”
Holmes joined the UT Dallas faculty in 1998 as a visiting professor in the School of Social Sciences (as EPPS was previously named). In 2000, she transitioned to assistant professor of government and politics and political economy, and, in 2006, she was appointed associate professor of public policy, political economy and political science and then professor in 2014.
Holmes earned her undergraduate degree in political science, with honors, from the University of Chicago and completed her PhD in political science with an emphasis on comparative politics and political theory from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Her education was enhanced by real-world experience spending time abroad in Mexico and Spain. Additional fieldwork was conducted in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru.