William R. Dyson, Chair Holder
Governor William A. O'Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics
In appointing William R. Dyson as Chair Holder of the Governor William A. O'Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics at CCSU, the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut State University System recognized that Mr. Dyson fit their own stated criteria for the chair holder as "a public figure who has made an outstanding contribution to the shaping of public policy in Connecticut."
Professor Dyson has a long and distinguished record of public service, having served in the Connecticut House of Representatives for thirty-two years, including a long tenure as House Chair of the Appropriations Committee. He succeeds the late, former Governor William A. O'Neill, who was the first chair holder.
Awarded his BA from Morris College, and a Masters in Urban Studies and a Sixth Year degree from Southern Connecticut State University, Professor Dyson is a life-long public school teacher and administrator, having served in the New Haven Public School System for 36 years.
Currently the Co-Chair of the statutorily established Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project Advisory Board and chair of the Connecticut Commission on National and Community Service, Professor Dyson also is serving as a member of the Connecticut Judicial Selection Commission and is active in LEAP (Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership). He formerly served as an appointee to the Connecticut Sentencing Taskforce.
Professor Dyson is also the recipient of Connecticut’s 2012 Law Day Award for ““his efforts as a state representative for thirty two years, and as the House chair of the [General Assembly’s] Appropriations Committee, to ensure that the Judicial Branch received the funding necessary to provide access to justice.” In making the presentation, Chief Justice Chase Rogers of Connecticut’s Supreme Court said that Professor Dyson had found a “fitting role” as Holder of the O’Neill Endowed Chair, given that he has “made it his mission to educate students about public and community service.”
Professor Dyson teaches in CCSU's political science department, and looks for opportunities to work with other CCSU departments and schools in multidisciplinary collaborations. He works closely with students and faculty in CCSU's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), for students of which the Governor William A. O'Neill Public Service Scholarship has been established. He has been an active participant in CCSU's efforts to promote its own engagement with the wider central Connecticut community.
For all our CCSU students, Professor Dyson provides learning opportunities that would not otherwise be readily available. Honoring the legacy of the late Governor O’Neill, Professor Dyson’s efforts have helped to promote a life-long commitment to public service as a valued career goal.