University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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President Spectar - Biography

Dr. Jem Spectar became the fifth president of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on July 1, 2007.  In announcing Dr. Spectar's appointment, Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg offered, "Provost Maher and I look forward to working with Dr. Spectar and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown community to ensure the continuing success of the campus under his capable leadership.  Jem Spectar is a visionary leader and celebrated teacher.  He has the skills and experience necessary to build effectively upon the strengths of our Johnstown campus and to enrich the lives of students, faculty, staff, and administrators."

Dr. Spectar has been provost at Western Oregon University; associate provost of academic affairs at the University of Scranton; director of studies at Princeton University; and assistant dean of students at the University of La Verne.

"As a senior administrator at several institutions of higher education, Dr. Spectar has established a leadership style marked by an emphasis on consultation, collaboration, and transparency," said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor James V. Maher.  "His outstanding academic and administrative leadership, as well as his capacity for fund raising, friend-making, and fostering positive community relations make him the ideal president for our Johnstown campus."

"(Spectar) is also a passionate and dedicated teacher who has worked consistently to promote excellence in learning," said Maher.

He has published numerous scholarly articles on international law and made presentations on issues involving human rights, the global commons, and international health.


Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science
Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, 1999

Master of Arts in Politics
Claremont Graduate University, 1997

Juris Doctor
University of Maryland Law School, Baltimore, Maryland, 1992

Master of Arts
The George Washington University, Washington D.C., 1992

Master of Business Administration
Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, 1989

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
University of La Verne, La Verne, California, 1989
Magna Cum Laude
Honors in International Studies


Professor of Political Science
University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 2002-2004

Lecturer, Department of Politics
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 2001-2002

Associate Professor of Law
University of La Verne, College of Law, La Verne, California, 1996-2000

Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky, 1997-1998

Assistant Professor of Law
University of La Verne, College of Law, La Verne, California, 1993-1996

Courses Taught
International Law and Organizations; International Law; Jurisprudence; Constitutional Law; The International Politics of AIDS in Africa; Property Law; Legal Research/Bibliography; Legal Analysis/Writing; Environmental Law; Tort Law


Professor of Distinction Award, La Verne College of Law (1998)

Professor of the Year, Legal Studies, University of La Verne (1995)


"Beyond the Rubicon: Presidential Leadership, International Law & the Use of Force in the Long Hard Slog" 23 CONNECTICUT JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW -- (Fall 2006).

"The Olde Order Crumbleth: HIV-Pestilence as a Security Issue & New Thinking About Core Concepts in International Affairs," 13:2 INDIANA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW 481-542 (2003).

"To Ban or Not to Ban an American Taliban? Revocation of Citizenship & Statelessness in a Statecentric System," 39:2 CALIFORNIA WESTERN LAW REVIEW 263-302 (2003).

"Patent Necessity: Intellectual Property Dilemmas in the Biotech Domain & Treatment Equity for Developing Countries," 24:2 HOUSTON JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 227-278 (2002).

"The Hybrid Horseman of the Apocalypse: The Global AIDS Pandemic & the North-South Fracas," 29:2 THE GEORGIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW 253-299 (2001).

"The Hydra Hath But One Head: The Socio-Cultural Dimensions of the AIDS Epidemic & Women's Right to Health," 21:1 BOSTON COLLEGE THIRD WORLD LAW JOURNAL 1-34 (2001).

"The Fruit of the Human Genome Tree: Cautionary Tales About Technology Investment & the Heritage of Humankind," 23:1 LOYOLA OF LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW REVIEW 1-40 (2001).

"Bridging the Global Digital Divide: Frameworks for Access & the World Wireless Web," 26:1 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW & COMMERCIAL REGULATION 57-103 (2000).

"Pay Me Fairly Kathie Lee! The WTO, the Right to a Living Wage & A Proposed Protocol," 20:1 NEW YORK JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW 61-92 (2000).

"Elephants, Donkeys or Other Creatures? Presidential Election Cycles & International Law of the Global Commons," 15:5 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 975-1038 (2000).

"Saving the Ice Princess: NGOs, Antarctica & International Law in the New Millennium," 23 SUFFOLK TRANSNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 57-100 (1999).


  • "Elixir for the Engagement Deficit: Building a Most Engaging Freshman Year," Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC, January 2006
  • "Using Technology to Improve Learning," Panel Moderator, Association of State Colleges and Universities, San Diego, February 2005.
  • "Connecting and Reaching Everyone in Changing Times: Emerging Trends and Opportunities in the 21st Century Academy," Conference Keynote, National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), Portland, Oregon April 21, 2005.
  • "Making the Most of the Moment: Leadership for the Future," Keynote, TRIO Leadership Conference, Willamette University, April 15, 2005.
  • "Best Practices in Student Retention," Panelist, Joint Articulation Transfer Conference, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR, December 10, 2004.
  • "After Iraq," Debate Moderator, University of Scranton, April 29, 2003.
  • "Thinking Inside the Box: New Linkages and Insights," Presentation, Collaborative Educational Programs for the Americas (CEPA), Long Beach, CA, March 15, 2003.
  • "War with Iraq - Just or Necessary," Moderator, Scranton, PA, November 2002.
  • "Capitalizing on Diversity in the Classroom" Presentation, Diversity and Globalization Conference, Scranton, PA, November 2002.
  • "Non-State Violence, HIV-Pestilence and other Emerging Security Threats: National Interest, Sovereignty & Intervention at the Dawn of a New Era" Invited Seminar, Princeton University, September 27, 2002.
  • "The AIDS Pandemic and Human Rights in Africa," Yale Law School, Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, May 3, 2002.
  • "Thinking Globally About AIDS in Africa," Princeton University, April 16, 2002.
  • "Should the U.S. Revoke John Walker's Citizenship? Invited Public Debate with Attorney/Law Professor Jonathan Turley, Princeton University, April 2002. See "Legal Scholars Debate Loss of Citizenship: American Taliban is Case in Point," The Trenton Times, April 21, 2002.
  • "The Global AIDS Crisis: Intellectual Property & the North-South Divide," University of Connecticut School of Law, December 3, 2001.
  • "Self-Defense and International Law," Princeton University, October 2001.
  • "Terrorism and International Law," Panel, Princeton University, September 23, 2001.
  • "Faith in American Ideals & Institutions" University of La Verne, February 7, 2001.

Last Reviewed: April 4, 2008