Mike Shires

Chief of Staff, SVP for Strategy and Operations, and Professor of Economics & Public Policy

Mike Shires is Chief of Staff and SVP for Strategy and Operations at UATX as well as a Professor of Economics and Public Policy. He oversees the team developing the nation’s newest and most innovative university, finding new pedagogical and curricular models to prepare students to succeed in today’s dynamic workplace and building an institution that rethinks the administrative model of tomorrow’s university. Their mission is to build a new university that is committed to the pursuit of truth through open dialogue and civil discourse. Before assuming his role at the University of Austin, he served as a professor and a senior administrator at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy for 23 years. He was also the first Research Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and a Doctoral Fellow at the RAND Corporation.

His scholarly work includes higher education governance, finance and design; economic development, K-12 school reform, public finance and the ethics of governance and leadership. His research passion in recent years has been working to preserve economic opportunity for lower and middle income households in the U.S. He has taught public policy analysis, public finance, the economics of education, statistics, urban economics, state and local finance, labor economics, state and local policy, and education policy. He has been a frequent television and radio contributor on political and economic issues and has appeared in numerous media outlets including CNN, Bloomberg TV, The Economist, USA Today, and many local print, radio and television programs. He has a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA.


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