Tom was the Thomas J. Pearsall Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2011-2017, he served as the Director of the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC. From 2010-2014, he served as Editor for the journal State Politics and Policy Quarterly, the official journal of the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association. He also served as President of the Southern Political Science Association for 2014.
Tom was born in Nebraska and attended a two-room country school where he was the oldest kid in school for two years in a row because the kid who was going to be in the 8th grade moved away when Tom started his 7th grade year. He graduated from Wayne State College in 1989, where he met his wife Dawn, with whom he had two children. Tom earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University Bloomington. He worked at the University of Illinois Chicago and Florida State University before moving on to UNC.
His research focused on the process of representation in U.S. state and national politics. More specifically, he studied electoral behavior, campaigns, political parties, public opinion, and legislative politics in the U.S. He was particularly interested in the impact of contextual factors such as campaign information, the social-demographic make-up of a place, institutions, and elite signals on political behavior, public opinion, and decision-making. He also had a strong interest in research methods, focused particularly on questions of design, multilevel and pooled data, Monte Carlo simulation and resampling methods, machine learning, and general data science. He was also very interested in open science, research transparency, and how policies in these areas impact the conduct of social science research.
A list of his published research can be found on his CV and his Google Scholar profile.
All of the material on this website is free. If you find it helpful, please consider making a donation to one of the two funds established in Tom’s memory:
- The Tom Carsey Award fund provides travel funds for graduate students to attend the State Politics and Policy Conference. Donations can be made here.
- Indiana University’s Department of Political Science has established the Tom Carsey Distinguished Lecture Fund, which endows a visiting lecturer series. Donations can be made here. Note: use the “search all funds” box using the search term “Carsey” to find the fund.
An event was held in Chapel Hill in Tom’s honor in early 2017. Many current and former students and colleagues attended, several of whom spoke about Tom’s impact on their personal and professional lives. Some of these speeches, including one by Tom himself, can be viewed here.
Tom’s obituary can be viewed here.
This website is maintained by Kevin Banda, who can be contacted here should you have any questions.