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About Stephen J. Nelson

 Dr. Stephen Nelson
 Department of Secondary Education and Professional Programs
 Educational Leadership Program
 Adrian Tinsley Center, Room  233
 (508) 531-2037
Stephen J. Nelson is a Professor of Educational Leadership at Bridgewater State College and a Senior Scholar in the Leadership Alliance at Brown University.  Professor Nelson teaches in the Educational Leadership Program in the Department of Secondary Education and Professional Programs concentrating on questions and issues of leadership, organizational culture, behavior and dynamics, and educational research. He guides the development and implementation of C.A.G.S. student research projects and collaborates with Graduate Research Assistants on student-initiated research studies, articles, publications, and professional presentations.

Professor Nelson’s most recent major book is The Shape and Shaping of the College and University in America: A Lively Experiment (2016). He is also the author of five books about the college presidency: College Presidents Reflect: Life in and out of the Ivory Tower (2013), Decades of Chaos and Revolution: Showdowns for College Presidents (2012), Leaders in the Crossroads: Success and Failure in the College Presidency (2009), Leaders in the Labyrinth: College Presidents and the Battleground of Creeds and Convictions (2007), Leaders in the Crucible: The Moral Voice of College Presidents (2000), as well as numerous scholarly articles.  Prior to his career as a professor, he was a college student affairs administrator at Wellesley, Dartmouth and Bard Colleges where he was the Dean of Students.  Professor Nelson’s work focuses on the history of the college and university in American and on the college presidency. He further maintains broad interests in the field of educational leadership, especially in higher education, in organizational culture and theory, and in general issues of leadership in the public and private sector. He can be reached at and 508-531-2037.

Professor Nelson holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Connecticut, a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School, a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the Hartford Seminary, and an A.B. in history from Gettysburg College.


Present Educational Leadership, Bridgewater State University
Present Professor, Bridgewater State University
Present Senior Scholar, Leadership Alliance, Brown University

Curriculum Vitae

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Articles (16)

Books (4)

Presentations (3)