Headshot of Robert R. Ulmer, Ph.D.

Robert R. Ulmer, Ph.D.

Department(s): Urban Affairs
Office: GUA 5110
Mail Code: 3007
Phone: 702-895-0628
Email: robert.ulmer@unlv.edu


Robert R. Ulmer is Dean of the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs (GCUA). The GCUA is designed to engage a unique collection interdisciplinary students, faculty, and staff to develop original solutions for producing effective urban communities. Urban population growth is one of the defining features of the 21st Century. During this time, urban communities have seen challenges and opportunities.

Dean Ulmer is a recognized international expert on building community and organizational resiliency to address community challenges and opportunities. Resiliency involves preparing for as well as learning, growing, and transforming through challenges. His 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 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.

Dean Ulmer and the GCUA develop solutions for progressive and resilient cities. Resilient communities are prepared for their challenges. They value productive urban governments that create effective public policy. Progressive cities embrace social equity and diversity. Finally, the citizens of effective cities exhibit a willingness and desire to work together and to have strong productive inclusive engagement about important community issues. The GCUA, then, is a 21st century academic interdisciplinary college designed to develop unique solutions for today's complex, dynamic, and exciting urban environment.

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


  • B.A. – Sociology University of Saskatchewan
  • M.A. – Speech Communication, North Dakota State University
  • Ph.D. – Communication, Wayne State University