Academic leader and political science scholar Harold W. Stanley became SMU’s vice president for executive affairs in February 2016. Previously he served as vice president for Academic Affairs and provost ad interim, and as an SMU associate provost.
Professor Stanley holds the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy in the Department of Political Science in Dedman College at SMU. The focus of his research and teaching at SMU has been within American government – Southern politics, Latino politics, and presidential elections.
Born and raised in Enterprise, Alabama, Professor Stanley attended public schools there. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale in 1972, graduating honors with exceptional distinction in political science and magna cum laude. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University (Worcester College) from 1972–1975, gaining a Master of Philosophy in Politics. He returned to Yale to earn a Ph.D. in Political Science in 1981.
He has published three books, Vital Statistics on American Politics (CQ Press, fifteen editions, 1988–2015); Voter Mobilization and the Politics of Race: The South and Universal Suffrage, 1952 –1984 (Praeger, 1987); and Senate vs. Governor, Alabama 1971: Referents for Opposition in a One-Party Legislature (University of Alabama Press, 1975).
He has also published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reviews. His writings have appeared in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics.
Professor Stanley has testified as an expert witness in federal court cases on voting rights and redistricting, serving on four occasions as the federal court’s own expert.
At SMU Professor Stanley has been a member of the Executive Board for the John Goodwin Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs since 2003, chaired the Honors Task Force (2006–2007), served on the General Education Review Committee (2007–2009), and co-chaired the Faculty/Staff Steering Committee in the Second Century Campaign (2009–2010).
Professor Stanley served as president of the Southern Political Science Association in 2000–2001. He received a Distinguished Teacher of the Year award from the Student Senate at the University of Rochester. In 2010 he received an award “For Outstanding Teaching in Political Science” from Pi Sigma Alpha and the American Political Science Association. In 2008 he was given the Distinguished University Citizen Award at SMU, in 2013 the Outstanding Administrator Award at SMU, and in 2010 the "M" Award, the most highly prized recognition bestowed upon students, faculty, staff and administrators at SMU.