Dr. Costas Spirou currently serves as Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of The Graduate School at Georgia College & State University, Georgia’s public liberal arts university. From June to December 2016 he was Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2017, Spirou was named a Fellow by the American Council of Education (ACE), the nation’s premier higher education leadership development program and spent the 2017-2018 academic year at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has held academic appointments at numerous universities including as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Latino Studies of the University of Notre Dame (2009-2011) and a Research Fellow at the Center of Cultural Understanding and Change of the Field Museum in Chicago (2005-2010). He also holds a faculty position as a Professor of Sociology and Public Administration.
At Georgia College he founded the GC in DC (legislative internship program in Washington, DC) and Georgia’s State of the State Poll, an annual, state wide survey that focuses on resident attitudes and perceptions on key social, economic and political issues. The purpose of the poll is to inform current policy debates in order to improve the socioeconomic well-being of the state’s residents.
His research interests and scholarship, center on mayoral leadership, public policy, technology and political sociology, urban affairs and governance. He has also written about downtown revival, the politics of stadiums and convention centers, and urban tourism and sustainability. Spirou is currently completing a book manuscript titled Anchoring Innovation Districts: The Entrepreneurial University and Urban Change (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press). He is also co-editing a book titled The Many Futures of Work: Interpretations, Contentions, Expectations that examines the technological, political, and economic sources of the gig economy, the impact of the rapidly changing labor economy, and ameliorative policy options. His most recent book is Building the City of Spectacle: Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Remaking of Chicago (with D. Judd) was published by Cornell University Press in 2016. Other books include Urban Tourism and Urban Change: Cities in a Global Economy (Routledge, 2011), St. Charles: Culture and Leisure in an All-American Town (Arcadia, 2005) which received an Award of Merit by the Illinois Association of Museums, and It’s Hardly Sportin’: Stadiums, Neighborhoods and the New Chicago (Northern Illinois University Press, 2003, with L. Bennett). He has published numerous articles and chapters in academic journals and edited volumes. Reviews of his books have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Urban Affairs Review, Journal of Urban History, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Urban Affairs, Contemporary Sociology, Journal of Sustainable Development and the Journal of Planning History among others.
Spirou maintains an active public scholarship agenda with appearances and contributions to print and broadcast outlets that include The Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Public Radio (Chicago NPR affiliate), Chicago Magazine, WGN, the Daily Herald, WTTW11 (Chicago PBS affiliate), The Kansas City Star, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette among many others. His activities have received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Ford Foundation and the Sam Walton Foundation. He has worked on projects with the University of Athens, Hassan II University Morocco, the University of Heidelberg and Peking University.