University of South Carolina

Robert Cox named director of Walker Institute

By Peggy Binette, peggy@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-5400

A scholar on European politics has been selected to lead the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies at the University of South Carolina.

Robert Henry Cox has been appointed director of the institute effective July 1. Cox is co-director of the University of Oklahoma’s European Union Center and is the former director of OU’s School of International and Area Studies. An internationally recognized expert on European politics, Cox is editor of the journal “Governance” and serves on the editorial board of “Social Science Quarterly” and the executive board of the International Political Science Association.

Cox succeeds Gordon B. Smith, who has directed the Walker Institute for the past eight years.

The institute, founded in 1961 by the late ambassador and professor Richard L. Walker, is one of the oldest international research institutes among American universities. With a research focus on U.S. foreign policy and international public policy issues, it supports area studies programs on Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia.

Under Smith’s leadership, the Walker Institute’s activities have grown in scope to include 45 research colloquia, six academic conferences, a film series and a public lecture series on international topics. Under his direction, funding also has increased, with awards from sources that have included the U.S. State Department and Department of Defense, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Institute of Turkish Studies, Open World and the International Research and Exchanges Board. In 2007, the institute received the Nikolai Khaladjan Award for Innovation in International Education from the American Association of University Administrators.

“Gordon Smith has built a strong foundation for the future, and I am deeply grateful for his leadership of the Walker Institute,” said Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Robert Cox will continue this tradition and will help the university to move forward with its renewed commitment to global engagement. He will contribute extraordinary expertise and energy to our campus, and we are excited about the possibilities his leadership will bring.”

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Posted: 05/09/12 @ 10:15 AM | Updated: 05/10/12 @ 2:55 PM | Permalink