Campus News

Two faculty members named University Professors

University of Georgia faculty members John Maltese and Jean F. Martin-Williams have been named University Professors in recognition of their significant impact on the university above and beyond their normal academic responsibilities.

Maltese is the associate dean in the School of Public and International Affairs, where he also holds the Albert Berry Saye Professorship of American Government and Constitutional Law and the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship. Martin-Williams is an associate dean in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

“Dr. Maltese and Dr. Martin-Williams are esteemed teachers, leaders and mentors at the University of Georgia,” said S. Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “They have shown great dedication to our mission, and they have consistently elevated UGA through their committed teaching, service and scholarship.”

John Maltese (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA)

John Maltese

Throughout his years of service at UGA, Maltese has brought visibility to the School of Public and International Affairs by establishing regular academic conferences and advocating for curriculum improvements. Notably, he developed and served as conference director for “The Carter Presidency: Lessons for the 21st Century,” a high-profile conference in 2007 that featured President and Mrs. Carter, Vice President and Mrs. Walter Mondale, prominent members of the Carter presidential Cabinet and presidential advisers and historians. The event elevated UGA’s national profile and led to more than 500 news stories, including wall-to-wall coverage by C-SPAN.

As head of the political science department for eight years, Maltese worked to create the Professional Certificate for Applied Politics and Public Affairs as well as launch the Survey Research Center. He has served on more than 50 university-level task forces, boards, academies and committees, including the Provost’s Task Force on Academic Excellence, the UGA Strategic Planning Liaison Committee and the Student Affairs Committee.

Maltese is particularly well known for his scholarship on the presidency. He is the author of “Spin Control: The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News” and “The Politics of the Presidency,” the most widely used undergraduate introductory textbook on the executive branch, now in its 10th edition. He has also written on judicial selection, including the book “The Selling of Supreme Court Nominees,” which won the American Political Science Association’s C. Herman Pritchett Award.

His honors include being named Georgia Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Maltese has been recognized as a Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, Lilly Senior Teaching Fellow, Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor and as the Study Abroad Director of the Year for the SPIA at Oxford Program that he has led since the early 2000s.

Maltese is also an internationally recognized expert on violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz and is a musical curator, collector and historian. With his father, Maltese earned a 1996 Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for their liner notes to the 65-CD set The Heifetz Collection. At UGA, he chaired the program review for the UGA Performing Arts Center and has served on multiple Hugh Hodgson School of Music search committees. He regularly provides funding to help sponsor artists to come to campus for events such as the UGA Presents series and endowed an undergraduate violin scholarship in memory of his father.

“A gifted scholar and inspiring teacher in the field of political science, a tireless contributor in his university and public service, and an internationally recognized researcher and author on music, John Maltese has made a significant impact on the University of Georgia and far beyond its campus,” former UGA Performing Arts Center director and associate professor of musicology emeritus George Foreman wrote in a nomination letter. “It is difficult to imagine a person who is more deserving of recognition as a University Professor.”

Jean F. Martin-Williams (Submitted photo)

Jean F. Martin-Williams

In the years that Martin-Williams has served as a faculty member in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, she has been a trailblazer. She was the first female tenure-track hire in the School of Music in the area of winds, brass and percussion. And for 15 years she worked with UGA’s Lilly Teaching Fellows program, helping to mentor more than 150 junior faculty across campus.

“From the time she shattered her first glass ceiling, earning the distinction of being the first brass player (and first female brass player) to receive the DMA from Manhattan School of Music in 1985, Dr. Martin-Williams has continued her pioneering efforts in a wide variety of areas,” Heidi Lucas, assistant professor of music at the University of Delaware, wrote in a nomination letter. “I believe that Dr. Jean Martin-Williams is the best of what UGA represents. Her commitment to people, service, education, and the promotion of equity and inclusivity are at the heart of who she is.”

As a professor, Martin-Williams is known for her mentorship of female students and commitment to making the School of Music more welcoming and inclusive. For many students, she was their first female horn professor. In recognition of her work as a professor and mentor, Martin-Williams was named a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2012.

Her service at UGA extends beyond the classroom and performance hall to administration. Martin-Williams has been an associate dean in the Franklin College since 2016, in addition to serving as the college’s director of the Office of Diversity Leadership. She is a UGA Arts Council representative, helped to establish the UGA Arts Lab and played a leading role in creating the MFA program in film production, a partnership between the department of theatre and film studies and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has served on more than 50 school- and university-level committees and boards including the President’s Advisory Council, the UGA Athletic Association Board and several search and program review committees.

Martin-Williams has earned considerable recognition for her performances and scholarship including a Grammy Award for her performances in the horn section of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and quarterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator of the Year in 2017. Her expertise in the horn has resulted in conference invitations and performances across the U.S. and internationally, including France, China, Finland, Japan, Russia, Brazil and Korea.

University Professors receive a permanent salary increase of $10,000 and yearly academic support of $5,000 as long as they hold the professorship. A committee solicits nominations through deans and makes a recommendation to the provost. To learn more and to see a list of previously appointed University Professors, visit