David A. Yalof, department head and distinguished professor of political science at the University of Connecticut, has been appointed William & Mary’s vice provost for academic affairs, Provost Peggy Agouris announced today.
Yalof brings considerable experience in academic planning, curriculum and assessment, in addition to being a noted scholar in constitutional law, presidential politics and American government.
“William & Mary is a special place,” Yalof said. “It’s always been an institution that treasures the relationship between the faculty member and the student, and you can sense that when you talk to people who are there. It’s something that’s embedded in its culture and traditions.”
As vice provost for academic affairs, Yalof will serve as the chief advisor to Agouris and will provide leadership and oversight of academic programs, curriculum, program planning and compliance.
The vice provost for academic affairs collaborates with university executive leadership, academic school leadership and the Faculty Assembly to advance institutional objectives, including those identified in the Vision 2026 strategic plan.
“David offers exceptional scope of vision to William & Mary, being equally strong in terms of both administrative leadership and the academic enterprise,” said Agouris. “In this role, David will further William & Mary’s research horizons, advance academic collaboration and innovation and deliver a bold vision for the future of education at the university.”
After earning his Ph.D. in political science from the Johns Hopkins University and then spending more than two decades in Connecticut, Yalof felt it was time to return to his higher education roots in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“The University of Connecticut treated me very well, but Virginia has always been at the core of who I am,” said Yalof, who received undergraduate and law degrees from University of Virginia. “It feels like I’m finally coming home.”
Yalof will take on the newly focused position in January 2023 and assume some of the duties of Steve Hanson, who served as vice provost for academic and international affairs and stepped down in June to return to teaching and research.
Hanson’s other duties were assumed by Teresa Longo, executive director of the Reves Center for International Studies, who in July was named associate provost for international affairs.
Yalof said working as a department head at University of Connecticut prepared him for this new role.
“You have to be innovative, and you have to think outside the box,” Yalof said. “I want to help the provost achieve William & Mary’s mission, but I also hope to get a feel and understanding for what the deans are trying to do and what the department heads are trying to do and help translate that for the provost’s office as well.”
The commonwealth is not only where Yalof received his undergraduate and law degrees, it’s also where he met and married his wife, Andrea Pierce Yalof ’88, a William & Mary alumna.
It’s also central to his research interests, particularly the U.S. presidency. William & Mary is alma mater of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler, and it is where George Washington served as chancellor from 1788-99.
Yalof’s recently completed manuscript, “George Washington and the Establishment of The Two-Term Precedent,” is scheduled for publication in 2023.
Yalof’s first book, “Pursuit of Justices: Presidential Politics and the Selection of Supreme Court Nominees,” won the 2000 Richard E. Neustadt Award as the best book on the presidency from the American Political Science Association. More recently, he authored “Prosecution among Friends: Presidents, Attorneys General, and Executive Branch Wrongdoing.” He is also coauthor of “The First Amendment and the Media in the Court of Public Opinion” and “The Future of the First Amendment.”
Yalof received his B.A. (1988) and J.D. (1991) at UVa; he then practiced law at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C., just prior to earning his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in 1997. Yalof also served as an American Council of Education Fellow at Trinity College in Hartford from 2004-05.
At the University of Connecticut, Yalof has been department head and professor of political science since 2013 after serving as director of undergraduate studies in the political science department from 2011-13 and as the director of curriculum development and assessment in the office of the provost from 2005-07. He was also the senate faculty representative to UConn’s board of trustees from 2020-22.
“David is a thoughtful and strategic leader who cares deeply about both advancing educational opportunities for students and facilitating faculty success,” said Juli Wade, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at University of Connecticut. “He will be missed at UConn, and we wish him well as he transitions to this important role at William & Mary.”
Nathan Warters, Communications Specialist