Published on: January 6th, 2023

Hillsdale College in DC Graduate School Dean Appointed to Board of Florida University

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Hillsdale College professor and Vice President Matthew Spalding was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) to serve on the board of trustees of New College of Florida. 
“Governor DeSantis is leading the nation in educational reform and post-secondary responsibility,” said Spalding. “I am honored by the appointment and look forward to advancing educational excellence and focusing New College on its distinctive mission as the liberal arts honors college of the State of Florida. A good liberal arts education is truly liberating and opens the minds and forms the character of good students and good citizens.”
Spalding joined the faculty and staff of Hillsdale College in 2013 and is today the Kirby Professor in Constitutional Government and vice president for Washington Operations. In 2019, he became the founding dean of Hillsdale’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in politics and oversees the Hillsdale College campus in the nation’s capital. 
“Matthew is a fine scholar,” said Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. “He has knowledge of the most permanent things and a mind toward the practical. He serves Hillsdale College with distinction. Few are as fit for such a position as he.” 
Spalding has national experience in education reform focused on teaching American history. In 2020, Spalding took leave from Hillsdale College when he was appointed executive director of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission, which produced the 1776 Report calling for, among other things, “scholars to return to their vocation of relentlessly pursuing the truth and engaging in honest scholarship that seeks to understand the world and America’s place in it.”  
After the conclusion of his work on the 1776 Commission, Spalding worked with Hillsdale College’s K-12 Education Office to produce The Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum, which provides comprehensive lesson plans, homework assignments, quizzes, tests, study guides, and other materials for studies in American history. That curriculum is available online free of cost and is used in K-12 schools across the country. 
“We must ensure that our institutions of higher learning are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth,” said DeSantis. 
Hillsdale College is an institution of higher education located in southern Michigan. It is known around the country for its classical liberal arts approach to education and its refusal to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, nationality, or sex.  
While most colleges in Michigan and across the country saw a decrease in enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hillsdale saw a 16% increase in enrollment and a 53% increase in applications. With a 20% admission rate, average ACT and SAT scores of 32 and 1420 among incoming students, and a perfect Forbes financial stability rating, Hillsdale is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions. 
Prior to joining Hillsdale College, Spalding was vice president of American Studies at The Heritage Foundation and founding director of its B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. He is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and serves on the boards of the Steamboat Institute and the Faith & Law. He received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. In addition to teaching at Hillsdale, he has taught at George Mason University, the Catholic University of America, and Claremont McKenna College. He and his wife Elizabeth, a Hillsdale College alumna, reside in Arlington, Virginia. 

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit