Donald G. Nieman, a historian whose specialty is law and race relations and civil rights in the United States, became dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences in 2008, after serving as dean of arts and sciences at Bowling Green State University in Ohio for eight years. An Iowa native, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Drake University. He earned his PhD at Rice University, where he developed a passion for teaching and research and a deep commitment to balancing discovery and mentoring.
Nieman taught at Kansas State University, Hunter College, Brooklyn College and Clemson University before becoming professor and chair of the History Department at Bowling Green in 1994. He was promoted to dean there in 2000.
He has authored two books and edited four others. In 1991, Oxford University Press published his book Promises to Keep: African-Americans and the Constitutional Order, 1776 to the Present, which has been called the first Afrocentric history of the U.S. Constitution.