Timothy J. Shaffer

Principal Research Specialist, National Institute for Civil Discourse
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Kansas State University
Assistant Director, Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, Kansas State University

Timothy J. Shaffer is Principal Research Specialist for the National Institute for Civil Discourse and is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Assistant Director of the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University. He is also associate editor of the Journal of Public Deliberation

His research focuses on two related lines of inquiry, both exploring civic professionalism and public philosophy contributing to the emerging field of civic studies. The first line of inquiry focuses on democratic engagement in the 1930s and 1940s through a USDA partnership with the land-grant university system. The second line of inquiry focuses on the contemporary engagement work of educators in higher education with communities, particularly through deliberative approaches.

He has published in journals such as the National Civic Review, The Good SocietyJournal of Public DeliberationEJournal of Public Affairs, Journal of Higher Education Outreach and EngagementJournal of Community Engagement and ScholarshipRural Sociology, and Connections. He has also contributed to multiple edited volumes. Shaffer is co-editor of the forthcoming book Deliberative Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for Democratic Engagement to be published by Michigan State University Press and Making Democracy Work as it Should: Stories and Lessons from Cooperative Extension Professionals to be published by Kettering Foundation Press.


B.A. (2004) St. Bonaventure University, Theology (magna cum laude). M.A. (2006) University of Dayton, Theological studies. M.P.A. (2008) University of Dayton. Ph.D. (2014) Cornell University, Education.


Areas of expertise: 

Relevant citations: 

Shaffer, T. J., Longo, N. V., Manosevitch, I., & Thomas, M. S. (Eds.). (2017). Deliberative Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for Democratic Engagement. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.

Shaffer, T. J. (2014). Deliberation In and Through Higher Education. Journal of Public Deliberation, 10(1), Article 10. Available at: http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol10/iss11/art10.

Shaffer, T. J. (2013). What Should You and I Do? Lessons for Civic Studies from Deliberative Politics in the New Deal. The Good Society, 22(2), 137-150.