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David G. Schwartz, Ph.D.


FDH 165
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David G. Schwartz, Ph.D., has served as a faculty member at UNLV since 2001, earning tenure in 2006 and promotion to full professor in 2013. In addition to his current role as UNLV’s Ombuds, he is also an affiliate professor in the Department of History.

From early 2019 to May 2021, Schwartz served as Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, where he provided support around faculty tenure and promotion, shared governance, and related issues.

Prior to serving as associate vice provost, Schwartz was director of the Center for Gaming Research within University Libraries. In this role from 2001 to 2018, he was responsible for administering the Center’s Eadington Faculty Fellowship program, managing the growth of the Gaming Collection, and serving as publisher of the interdisciplinary UNLV Gaming Press. He has also served on various campus committees, including chairing the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.

In recognition of his role in promoting the preservation of Las Vegas History, in 2021 Dr. Schwartz was given a History Preservation Award by the Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Las Vegas.

Schwartz received his bachelor’s in anthropology and history and master’s degree in American history from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Ph.D. in United States history from UCLA. Born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey, he has lived in and around Las Vegas since coming to UNLV in 2001.


As Ombuds, Dr. Schwartz directs the office that serves UNLV’s 10,000 academic, administrative, classified, temporary, student, and part-time employees, as well as the larger community of UNLV undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The office provides a forum for all employees to confidentially discuss matters that concern them, and to receive training and coaching in conflict resolution techniques and strategies, as well as hosting a mediation practice. Dr. Schwartz also oversees all of the office's programming, including remote and in-person seminars and workshops.

Dr. Schwartz is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP), awarded by the International Ombuds Association. Those with the CO-OP credential are recognized for their understanding of ombuds practice and their adherence to the IOA's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.


As a mediator, Dr. Schwartz, who received his first training via the Boyd School of Law’s Mediation Essentials course, believes in the effectiveness of facilitative mediation in helping parties build more productive relationships. In 2022, Schwartz became a credentialed mediator under the auspices of the Clark County Neighborhood Justice Center. He promotes mediation sessions that are built on a foundation of mutual respect, creative problem-solving, and a genuine desire to make a better future.

As leader of the Ombuds’ mediation practice and member of the mediation pool, he is available to mediate for all employees and students.

Teaching Experience

At UNLV, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses for the colleges of Liberal Arts, Law, Honors, and Hospitality and been actively involved with Nevada Promise, McNair Scholars, and other student mentoring groups. In the Department of History, Dr. Schwartz has taught courses including HIS 101, United States History to 1877; HIS 102, United States History after 1877; HIS 368, The History of Casinos; HIS 404, Nevada and the Far West; and HIS 487/687, The History of Video Games.

Dr. Schwartz’s Honors Seminars (all with the HON 410/420 designation) include Jazz: An Improvisational American History, Conspiracy Theories in History,  What If: Exploring Alternate History, The Meaning of Video Games, Creative Non-Fiction, and The Faces of Las Vegas. In 2022 he was honored with the Honors College's Department in Honors Teaching Award.

Research Interests

Dr. Schwartz has written seven and edited or co-edited four books in his area of specialty, gaming history, and has served on several state and local groups, including the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee and the advisory boards of the Museum of Gambling History and the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (Mob Museum). His research interests include the histories of gambling, gaming, and games (including video games), Las Vegas and Nevada history, tourism, and conflict resolution.

Some of his more popular books include At the Sands: The Casino That Shaped Classic Las Vegas, Brought the Rat Pack Together, and Went Out With a Bang,  Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas, Roll the Bones: The History of Gamblingand Boardwalk Playground: The Making, Unmaking, & Remaking of Atlantic City.

Email Info

For all Ombuds-related communications, including requests for a meeting, requests for a presentation, and questions about the scope of Ombuds services: ombuds@unlv.edu

For all external (non-UNLV) communications and any internal communications related to Dr. Schwartz's teaching, research, or service interests: david.schwartz@unlv.edu.