Leroy H. Pelton of Salem State College in Massachusetts has been hired to head UNLV's School of Social Work, university President Carol C. Harter announced Thursday.
Pelton, who was selected following a national search, will begin work at UNLV on July 1.
He currently is both a professor in the School of Social Work at Salem State and executive director of the Center for Applied Research and Development in the college's Schools of Human Services. Previously, he served as chair of the children and family services concentration in the master of social work program at Salem State.
"We are pleased to have a scholar of Leroy Pelton's reputation to head our School of Social Work," Harter said. "He has both the practical and academic experience we need."
Provost Douglas Ferraro, who strongly recommended Pelton to the president, said, "Leroy Pelton's appointment will enable us to spring into a vibrant set of new initiatives in social work as we reach out to the community at large."
Pelton is the author of three books, For Reasons of Poverty: A Critical Analysis of the Public Child Welfare System in the United States, The Social Context of Child Abuse and Neglect, and The Psychology of Nonviolence. A fourth book, Doing Justice: Group Constructs and Individual Realities, is in the preparation stages.
Before going to Salem State he taught at several universities, including the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Rutgers University; and the State University of New York at Albany. He also has worked as a policy and planning specialist at the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as director of child welfare at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York, and as a social caseworker for the New York City Department of Welfare.
Pelton earned his doctoral degree in psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit; a master of social work degree from Rutgers; a master of arts degree in social psychology from the New School for Social Research in New York; and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and psychology from Brooklyn College in New York.