Eric Herzik, Ph.D.

Chair; Professor of Political Science and Interim Chair of Art
Eric Herzik

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina
  • B.A., University of California, Irvine


Eric Herzik plays a number of roles within the political science department and the University of Nevada, Reno. Herzik has been the department's chair since 2007 when his colleagues nominated him to serve, but he previously held the position from 1992 to 2000. He also has been the interim Dean of the College of Arts and Science and the College of Liberal Arts. Herzik is currently interim chair for the Department of Art.

As chair, Herzik represents the department, manages the departmental budget and works together with the faculty on curriculum.

"The chair makes a number of scheduling, budget and curricular decisions, usually in concert with departmental faculty," Herzik said.

He also conducts research primarily on topical issues relating to Nevada state and local government. Herzik and an interdisciplinary team of researchers are working on "The Vehicle Miles Traveled Project," which aims to find new tax options to fund Nevada's roads as an alternative to the gasoline taxes. The project is part of a multiyear grant that began in 2009 called the "Distance-Based User Fee Pilot Program" funded by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

"Gasoline taxes, which have long funded roads, are becoming a less viable means to finance roads as the vehicle fleet becomes more fuel efficient and shifts to alternative energy sources such as hybrids and electrics," he said. "There is currently no direct means to create a user fee for those vehicles. Our study is designed to explore options for such a tax system."

Before this work, Herzik worked with Reno's Regional Transportation Commission on alternative energy's link to transportation and with the City of Reno on racial profiling.

Herzik's teaching load includes classes that focus on his interests of public administration, American politics and public policy. He has been teaching at the University since 1989 and regularly teaches American politics, American presidency, politics of Nevada and a seminar in public administration. He also was a College of Arts and Science Senator Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award recipient in 1996 and was awarded the Aaron Wildavsky Book Award from the Policy Studies Organization in 1997.

As an experienced researcher in applied policy research for two decades, Herzik understands the significance of conducting applied research, as well as teaching in the classroom.

"I think applied research is especially important as it connects academic training with real world problems," Herzik said.

In addition to Herzik's responsibilities as a teacher, researcher and the department chair in the political science department, he also served as the chair of the Nevada faculty senate and the chair of the mathematics and statistics department

Research interests

  • American politics
  • State and local politics
  • Policymaking and administration