Robert R. Ulmer

Dean, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
Expertise: Community renewal, Risk and crisis communication


Robert R. Ulmer is dean of the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. The college is designed to engage a unique collection interdisciplinary students, faculty, and staff to develop original solutions for producing effective urban communities.

Ulmer’s work on organizational/community renewal informs and predicts why some cities in today’s headlines have struggled to prepare for terrorism and other crises, wrestled to resolve issues of social inequity and race relations, failed to develop useful strategies to support those citizens that are marginalized and disenfranchised, and have been unsuccessful in engaging in meaningful community conversations about how to resolve their unique challenges.

Conversely, his research also illustrates how effective cities can manage conflict well, can develop unique community solutions for their challenges, can be transparent and collaborative in decision making, and can promote inclusivity and engagement throughout urban life.

He has extensive experiences putting these ideas into practice having worked with the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and public and private companies. 


  • BA Sociology, University of Saskatchewan
  • MA Speech Communication, North Dakota State University
  • PhD Communication, Wayne State University

Robert R. Ulmer In The News

Las Vegas Sun
April 4, 2019
Under fluorescent lights, a group of about 20 people huddles at a table listening to the static of the police-dispatch call fill the room.
Las Vegas Review Journal
April 1, 2019
Detectives bustle around a homicide scene while a public information officer fends off reporters crowded behind yellow tape. Social workers comfort traumatized witnesses while crime scene investigators collect evidence and examine the body.
Las Vegas Review Journal
October 4, 2017
Between a Facebook post Saturday morning promoting its resort and a post around 3 a.m. Monday expressing condolences and information about a lockdown, there was nothing on Mandalay Bay’s account.
June 8, 2017
According to the proposal approved by the Nevada Board of Regents in early March, the priorities at a new think tank sponsored by MGM in partnership with UNLV, cochaired by Harry Reid and John Boehner, no less, could include “sustainability, workforce development, technology and innovation, and security and resilience.”

Articles Featuring Robert R. Ulmer

Campus News | June 26, 2019
A collection of news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
Stands stand behind the police tape of a simulated crime scene
Campus News | April 25, 2019
Urban Adventure class draws in multiple disciplines to create a uniquely detailed scenario for students.
exterior of UNLV Greenspun Building
Campus News | April 11, 2019
Applications now open for all UNLV graduate students; internships begin in June and focus on the integration of policymaking, finance, effective communication.
Greenspun Building
Business and Community | April 3, 2019
City resilience framework will focus on health and wellness, economy and society, infrastructure and environment, and leadership and strategy.