Meet the Dean


Interim Dean Paul Wahlbeck Columbian College


Paul Wahlbeck came to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in 1993 as a faculty member in the top-ranked Political Science Department after receiving his PhD from Washington University. In 2011, he became chair of department and, in 2016, he joined the college’s leadership team as a vice dean for programs and research. In 2018, he was named interim dean of the college.

Dean Wahlbeck’s scholarship centers on Supreme Court decision making, especially strategic interaction among justices. His co-authored book, Crafting Law on the Supreme Court: The Collegial Game, was awarded the 2017 Lasting Contribution Award from the Law & Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. His work has been published in many noteworthy journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly. A holder of a JD from the University of Illinois, he served as an attorney for the Illinois General Assembly and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation earlier in his career. He also served as Director of the Law and Social Science Program at the National Science Foundation from 2001 to 2003 and, in 2006, served as director of NSF’s Political Science Program.