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Associate dean to retire

After more than 30 years with the College of Liberal Arts, Associate Dean Pat Hurley is retiring.

Patricia A. Hurley, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of political science, is retiring from Texas A&M University on August 31, 2017. She will leave a distinguished career as a teacher, scholar, and administrator – as well as “hard-to-fill shoes” in all those roles.

Hurley joined the faculty of the Department of Political Science in 1986. She earned promotion to the rank of professor, and she served as the graduate advisor in the department from 1991 to 1997 and as department head from 2001 to 2008. Former Liberal Arts Dean Charles Johnson recruited her to become an associate dean in 2008, a role she has held ever since, serving under four different deans. Over the years her administrative portfolio has included various aspects of graduate student affairs as well as faculty hiring, evaluation, promotion, and tenure.

As an associate dean, Hurley is widely respected for her concern for the professional development of faculty and graduate students and for overseeing the tenure and promotion process for faculty with a bureaucratically sure but humane hand. Many faculty and administrators in the college have learned to rely on her professional wisdom, knowledge of University procedures, and objectivity in carrying out those procedures. Liberal Arts Dean Pamela Matthews has also referred to her as “the imperturbable Pat Hurley.”

Her colleagues in the Department of Political Science remember her time as head, in particular, with comparable appreciation for her administrative skill and fairness. And they know her enviable record as a scholar of the U.S. Congress. Her latest publication, the book Representation in Congress: A Unified Theory, published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press and co-authored with professor Kim Hill of the Department of Political Science and their then-doctoral student Soren Jordan, offers the most rigorous theoretical account in the research literature of how members of the Congress represent their constituents.

Despite her many achievements, Hurley remains self-effacing. In an interview with a member of the college communications team she observed, “Both the college and my department have been very good to me. I am proud to have worked here.”