Office of University Provost

Peter J. Woolley, Ph.D.

Dr. Peter J. Woolley is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In this capacity, Dr. Woolley is responsible for working with the president and other senior administrators in advancing the University’s strategic priorities. Reporting to Dr. Woolley is the Office of Government and Community Affairs and the nationally recognized polling institute—PublicMind.

Dr. Woolley also serves as Founding Director of the School of Public and Global Affairs and is Professor of Comparative Politics. He was the Florham Campus Provost from 2012-2017, and Co-founder and, for many years, Executive Director of PublicMind. As such, his research in public opinion and his political commentary have been cited in news outlets from the Sydney Morning Herald to the Washington Post and Trenton Times, from NJN to CNN, and in newspapers from Alaska’s Ketchikan Daily News to the Miami Herald.

Dr. Woolley took over the direction of PublicMind in 2002 and nurtured it from an obscure start-up in polling to a nationally cited source of public opinion on campaigns and elections, as well as on a variety of national issues such as automobile safety, eminent domain, gambling, the impact of candidates’ gender on voters, and even the impact on New Jersey of TV shows such as The Sopranos and Jersey Shore. Moreover, Dr. Woolley has been the principal investigator in hundreds of projects associated with PublicMind.

Dr. Woolley was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987. He studied at the Sorbonne and at the University of Bordeaux, and later in Japan as a member of a Fulbright/Hays Group Project. He was an Advanced Research Scholar at the U.S. Naval War College (1994-95), and won the Edward Miller History Prize from the U.S. Naval War College in 1997.

Dr. Woolley is co-editor of American Politics: Core Argument/Current Controversy (Prentice-Hall), and contributed to the chapter on New Jersey for Larry Sabato’s book on the 2006 midterm elections—The Sixth Year Itch. Dr. Woolley is also author of two books on U.S.-Japan defense relations—Japan’s Navy: Politics and Paradox, and Geography and Japan’s Strategic Choices. In addition, he is a contributor to professional journals such as The Polling Report, Survey Practice, Fordham Law Review Res Gestae, Strategic Review, The Naval War College Review, The Journal of Conflict Studies, The Journal of East and West Studies, Asian Survey, The Common Review, and his personal favorite—The Journal of Irreproducible Results.

Dr. Woolley chaired the Department of Social Sciences and History in the Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and had the opportunity to rebuild the multi-disciplinary group of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists—making a series of hires over four years which successfully transformed the department into one of the most regarded at the University.

Dr. Woolley is a Fellow of the American Council on Education. In 2001-2002, he served at Lafayette College where he interned with the president and provost and studied the competition between public and private universities, as well as the effects, both felicitous and infelicitous, of government intervention in education markets.

During his tenure as a faculty member, Dr. Woolley was the recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship, as well as the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service


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