William A. Clark named associate dean of the Graduate School

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — William A. Clark has been named associate dean of the Graduate School at Penn State. A Penn State alumnus, Clark most recently spent 26 years on the faculty at Louisiana State University as professor and chair of the department of political science.  

While at LSU, Clark served as director of the master’s degree program in liberal arts for 10 years. He also served as director of graduate studies and as an undergraduate adviser in the department of political science, and he was a member of the system-wide Executive Graduate Council. 

As associate dean, Clark will primarily focus on graduate program review and assessment for all of the 302 graduate degree programs, representing 196 major fields of study, at the University. Additionally, he will be involved in the coordination of professional development activities for graduate faculty that promote best practices in graduate education. Clark also will report on the Graduate School’s progress in meeting strategic-plan goals and will oversee the development and continuing enhancement of standardized graduate program data resources to support meeting program quality objectives in every graduate degree program.

“Bill’s commitment to high-quality graduate education and experience with program outcome assessments make him a great asset to the Graduate School," said Regina Vasilatos-Younken, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School. “We are very pleased that he has returned to Penn State and will help shape the future of graduate education at the University.” 

Clark’s expertise is in comparative politics, and he has published two books and two dozen scholarly articles focusing on Soviet and Russian politics. In 2013, he was selected to serve as one of three LSU fellows to the Southeastern Conference’s Academic Leadership Development Program. 

Before arriving at LSU in 1991, Clark served for three years as associate director of the James F. Byrnes International Center at the University of South Carolina. Clark also served as a United States Embassy policy specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia, and in Moscow as a certified international election observer for the 2003 Russian parliamentary elections. His research has been supported by grants from the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., where he served as a short-term fellow, as well as by the International Research and Exchanges Board for research in Russia.  

A native of Philadelphia, Clark received his bachelor's degree in political science from Penn State, a master's degree in political science from Drew University, and a doctoral degree in political science from the University of South Carolina.