News Release

Christopher Uggen named Regents professor

Headshot of Regents Professor Christopher Uggen
Christopher Uggen, Regents Professor of Sociology and Law

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has named Christopher Uggen as a Regents Professor of Sociology and Law. The designation, conferred this month, is the highest level of recognition given to faculty by the University.

“Professor Uggen’s research has had a tangible impact for millions of Americans, including right here in Minnesota,” said University President Eric Kaler. “He exemplifies the qualities of teaching, research and scholarship that this honor requires, and I congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition."

A world renowned criminologist, Uggen is a pioneer in the study of crime and punishment over the life course. He ranks among the nation’s most cited and productive criminologists, with research on topics ranging from discrimination to sexual harassment, and deportation to felon disenfranchisement in the United States: the practice of denying voting rights to persons with criminal records even after they have served their sentences. 

Uggen and political scientist Jeff Manza were the first to document that five million American citizens were denied the right to vote and that in several states, felony disenfranchisement affects one in four African-American men. Since he began writing on felon disenfranchisement in 1998, 26 states have moved to re-enfranchise over a million voters.  With Devah Pager of Harvard and other scholars, his research on the effects of low-level arrest records on employment galvanized Minnesota and 23 other states to adopt fair hiring policies for people with criminal records.

Described as an amazing teacher and mentor, Uggen is known for building undergraduates into his research teams and publishes with undergraduate as well as graduate students. In 2015, the American Sociological Association honored him with the Krivo-Peterson Mentoring Award, which recognizes outstanding mentoring of graduate students.

Uggen, the Martindale Chair in the Department of Sociology, has received numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished McKnight Professorship (2006) and the Equal Justice Award for Research (2011), and was named a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology in 2013. The American Society of Criminology and International Society for Criminology have both recognized Uggen’s work, as have many major sociological and criminological societies. Uggen was recently elected Vice President of the American Sociological Association. 

The Board will formally honor Uggen at its meeting September 8-9.

About the Regents Professorship
The Regents Professorship was established in 1965 by the Board of Regents to recognize the national and international prominence of faculty members. It serves as the highest recognition for faculty who have made unique contributions to the quality of the University of Minnesota through exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and scholarship or creative work and contributions to the public good. The addition of Uggen increases the current number of Regents Professorships to 30 and brings the all-time total to only 100.

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