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School of Politics and Global Studies introduces new director


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June 20, 2023

Appreciation for public education and universities drew Güneş Murat Tezcür from Turkey, first to the University of Central Florida and now to Arizona State University as the new director of the School of Politics and Global Studies.

A photo of the new SPGS director
Güneş Murat Tezcür

“I believe in the power of public education, creating a better society for all people, and providing a vehicle for social mobility, especially for those with diverse social backgrounds. This is a huge draw for me to come to ASU, and that appeals to my sense of responsibility and sense of academic location,” he says.

Tezcür came to the U.S. in 2000, pursuing his PhD in Ann Arbor, Michigan, before getting a job in Chicago, where he stayed until 2015. He has spent the past eight years as the director of the School of Politics, Security and International Affairs at the University of Central Florida. He will start at ASU on July 1.

Tezcür brings experience in a similar role and his care about the broader impact of his studies. 

“I'm studying political identity, violence and democratic circles in countries with very contested stories. I did lots of work on the Kurdish people in Turkey and Iran. I have a strong scholarly and intellectual identity, but I also care a lot about the broader impact in terms of speaking to a broader audience, reaching beyond the circles of scholars, such as reaching out to policymakers and making information very meaningful and understandable to our wide audiences.” 

He plans to spend his first few weeks collecting thoughts and opinions from the community on the school’s areas of improvement. He views the director role as one of leadership rather than administration, focusing on guiding the executive staff and students who advance ASU’s mission. 

“We want to make sure that if people come to ASU, they get lots of opportunities, like studying abroad and getting prestigious fellowships and getting competitive jobs, so it will also be my priority to create environments which contribute to these successes.”

Moving forward, Tezcür already has a lot of ideas for improving the school. 

“Universities can be highly complicated and sometimes difficult for people to find the resources they need, especially when there are a lot available to them, so I want to create a very smooth and efficient organization. … Ultimately, we are your resources, we serve our students at their different levels, and one of my priorities is encouraging and advancing students and helping them achieve their goals and degrees,” he said.

Tezcür says the most exciting part about coming to this position at ASU is bringing in a revitalized energy when it comes to human affairs and creating a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. 

He considers himself very approachable and loves in-person, face-to-face communication, noting that his door will always be open for anyone who wants to talk.

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