Dr. Peter J. May Installed as the Donald R. Matthews Endowed Professor



The Donald R. Matthews Professorship in American Politics was established by the gift of Donald R. Matthews, longstanding faculty member and former Chair of the Department of Political Science.  This professorship is to award a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding achievement in research and teaching on American Politics. Professor May is the second recipient of this Professorship.

Peter J. May earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy in June of 1979 from the University of California, Berkeley. He is fond of recalling that when he interviewed for an Assistant Professor position in Political Science at the University of Washington, he was greeted at Sea-Tac Airport by the then Chair of the department, Donald R. Matthews. Over the subsequent three decades, Professor May became a nationally and internationally renowned scholar whose research, writings, publications and expertise spanned the scholarly areas of policy processes, regulation, natural hazards and disasters and environmental management. He has supported his scholarly research and funded the work of scores of graduate students through prolific generation of a dozen plus funding grants from the National Science Foundation and additional grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, among other funding sources. International recognition of his scholarly standing is demonstrated in his Visiting Professorships at the University of Hong Kong, University of Aarhus, Denmark, and the Australian National University. May's undergraduate teaching includes courses on American Politics, Public Policy Processes, Environmental Regulation, Quantitative Methods, and Bureaucratic Politics. Known nationally and internationally for his work with graduate students, his teaching and mentoring focus on fields in American Politics, Bureaucratic Politics, Policy Formation, Politics of Risk, and Social Science Methodology. For his work in mentoring graduate students, he received honorable mention for the Marsha Landolt Graduate Mentor Award in 2007. Professor May's stature and recognition for his scholarly research and teaching bring distinction to the Matthews Professorship and to the University of Washington.