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UA Little Rock Names Slagle Director of School of Public Affairs

Dr. Derek Slagle
Dr. Derek Slagle

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has named Dr. Derek Slagle as the new director of the School of Public Affairs. 

“I am thrilled to be able to lead the School of Public Affairs, and I am very honored to have been selected by my colleagues for this position,” said Slagle, who previously served as director of the UA Little Rock Survey Research Center. “I am really looking forward to the next chapter. I hope to expand the reach of the School of Public Affairs, increase enrollment, and advance educational and research capacities for the school.”

The UA Little Rock School of Public Affairs brings together academic, applied research, and training units that share a focus on government, politics, nonprofit organizations, and public service. This includes the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium, which provides management training for leaders in the government and nonprofit organizations, and the state’s only academic survey research center.

Housed in the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education, the School of Public Affairs is home to the Master of Public Administration, a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, as well as minors in nonprofit leadership studies and legal studies. The school’s undergraduate programs of study include political science with tracks in law and international studies. The school contains 10 faculty members and about 200 students.

“As a faculty member and director of the Survey Research Center, Dr. Slagle has made innumerable contributions to the School of Public Affairs,” said Dr. Sarah Beth Estes, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education. “We are so pleased to have him in the director position to continue to build the School through his leadership.”

Slagle’s vision for the School of Public Affairs is for it to become the state’s premier educational research center for public affairs and civic engagement.

“I want to make sure we are educating Arkansas’s future leaders, keep expanding our world class research, become more engaged in the community and with stakeholders, and provide excellent teaching,” he said. “I’d like to expand partnerships in the state and help the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium and the Survey Research Center continue to grow. My goal is to have the School of Public Affairs be the first stop for training, research, education, and community engagement for public affairs in the state of Arkansas.”

Recently promoted to the rank of associate professor of public administration, Slagle joined UA Little in 2017. He is serving his second term as a commissioner for the Governor’s Advisory Commission for National Service and Volunteerism.

His education and training include a doctorate in public administration, a master’s degree in health administration, and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology He is enrolled in the executive program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Slagle’s academic scholarship is recognized nationally in the areas of public affairs education, higher education administration, and health policy. His applied research has been particularly impactful in the state of Arkansas. Since joining UA Little Rock, he has contracted with more than 20 different state agencies, nonprofits, and for-profit companies on applied research projects. His applied research has covered key topic areas such as occupational licensing, collegiate substance use and school safety, community service-learning, environmental conservation, public health, and international philanthropy.

He has worked for the Arkansas House of Representatives and assisted the Arkansas Governor’s Red Tape Reduction Working Group and the Occupational Licensure Reform Sustainability group. At the same time, he served as a state lead for Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium, a project supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and managed jointly by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices.

Slagle has published 19 academic articles, an edited book, 36 technical reports, and presented research at 41 conferences or invited lectures. In addition to his academic achievements, Slagle is an accomplished photographer with his work exhibited broadly in museums, publications, and exhibitions. His 2023-2024 photographic endeavors will be supported by a program grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance and supported by the Windgate Foundation.