Professor Jay Shimshack Appointed Batten School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Jay Shimshack
Batten School professor Jay Shimshack (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

Today, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy announced the appointment of Professor Jay Shimshack as associate dean for academic affairs. Shimshack succeeds Professor Craig Volden, who will conclude his distinguished four-year term as associate dean at the end of June and transition to the role of interim dean of the Batten School until Dean-elect Ian Solomon’s arrival on Sept. 1. 

“In discussing this important appointment with Batten faculty over the past few weeks, I heard a consistent message about the type of scholar, leader, partner, and citizen that would best serve the school,” Dean-elect Solomon said. “I am thrilled that Jay Shimshack has agreed to serve as the next associate dean, and I look forward to working with him.”

Shimshack brings an impressive track record of excellence in research, scholarship and teaching to the role, as well as an unwavering dedication to service and engagement. Prior to joining the Batten School in 2014, Shimshack held positions at Tulane University and Tufts University and a visiting faculty fellowship at the University of Michigan. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. Shimshack’s primary fields of study include environmental regulation, environmental economics, corporate social behavior, and applied microeconomics for public policy. At Batten, he teaches courses on economics for public policy and benefit-cost analysis.   

“I'm delighted by the selection of Professor Shimshack as the next associate dean,” Volden said. “Jay brings just the right combination of thoughtfulness and selflessness to the job. The Batten School is in very good hands.”

Outside of the classroom, Shimshack has made significant contributions to society’s understanding of environmental monitoring and enforcement, the economics of food safety, the distributional effects of policy, and environmental disparities. He has advised federal agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Department of Labor, consulted for private organizations, and testified before the U.S. House of Representatives. This past spring, Shimshack traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he provided an academic perspective on the implications of the EPA's enforcement strategies.

As associate dean for academic affairs, Shimshack will serve as the chief academic officer of the Batten School. He will be the primary liaison, after the dean, between the University and the School on academic matters and oversee all academic programs.


About the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy: The University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy is authoring a new model of public policy education. Of the 250-plus schools of public policy and administration in the U.S., the Batten School has the distinction of being the only one explicitly committed to teaching leadership—how it works, why context matters in decision-making and which actions lead to tangible results. The School’s programs inspire students to act vigorously, effectively and ethically on behalf of the common good. Learn more at

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