William Terrill named interim associate dean of Watts College

William Terrill started his position as interim associate dean in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions on July 1, 2019. Terrill is also a professor in the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, where his research centers on police behavior, with an emphasis on police use of force and police culture.

In his new role as interim associate dean, Terrill will be overseeing a range of responsibilities including serving as the Watts College's point of contact on research related matters, conducting College level review and approval for grants, coordinating international initiatives and contributing to our leadership team. 

We asked Professor Terrill a few questions to help the rest of the college get to know him better. 

Q. For those in other units who do not know you already, can you share a bit about your background and your primary focal areas?
A. I grew up in a small coal mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania and enlisted in the Air Force out of high school in the mid-1980's. I served as a Military Policeman for three years. Afterward, I used the GI Bill to get my undergraduate degree at Penn State, followed by my master's and PhD at Rutgers. My research mainly revolves around police use of force and culture. I’m interested in how and why police officers use force; how police departments structure and guide officers from a training and policy standpoint; and how police culture manifests, is shared and influences officer behavior.

Q. What are you looking forward to in this role?
A. It’s refreshing to take on a new challenge at this stage of my career. I’m looking forward to seeing how university business is conducted, the behind-the-scenes processes and decision making, the challenges of balancing the wants and needs of faculty, staff, students, the community and so forth. Plus, I’m exited to meet new people in the college, university and community.

Q. Where are your favorite places to travel?
A. I suspect my answer is going to sound pretty boring to many of my friends and colleagues that travel the world, but for me it's four places. First, Philadelphia because I’m an insane Phillies baseball fan. Second, Clearwater Beach because not only is it the spring training home of the Phillies, but it’s one of the most beautiful Florida beaches. Third, Boston because I taught and lived there for five years and love the character of the city. Fourth, New Orleans because I’m a Saints football fan and my 5-year old loves the city and seeing musicians playing in the street.