Professor (1968); Elliott A. Brown Green and Gold Professor of Law, Politics and Political Behavior (2015)

Professor Nelson teaches courses in American government, political leadership and political parties.

He is the author of more than 150 articles and professional papers on national politics with a major focus on the U.S. Congress and elections in Vermont and is a regular media commentator on those topics. He is the author of Pathways to the U.S. Supreme Court: From the Arena to the Monastery (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and co-author of The Austin-Boston Connection: Five Decades of House Democratic Leadership, 1937-1989 (Texas A&M University, 2009). He was editor-in-chief of the two-volume work, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1947-1992 (CQ Press, 1993-94); co-editor of the four-volume work, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1789- 1946 (CQ Press, 2002), named a “Best Reference Source” by the Library Journal; co-editor of Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1993-2010 (Sage/CQ Press, 2010);  Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System (Scribner’s, 1994); contributor to the Encyclopedia of American Political History (Scribner’s, 1984); The Committee on Ways and Means: A Bicentennial History, 1789-1989 (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989);  Political Parties and Elections in the United States: An Encyclopedia (Garland, 1991); Encyclopedia of the U.S. Congress (Simon & Schuster, 1995); Encyclopedia of New England (Yale University Press, 2005); Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections (Facts on File, 2006); and Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions (Sage/CQ Press, 2009).  He has published in the American Political Science Review, PS: Political Science and Politics, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Roll Call, and the Washington Post. Professor Nelson was the recipient of the Kroepsch-Maurice Teaching Excellence Award, 2009 and was named the fall, 2013 College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Lecturer.  He served as president of the New England Political Science Association (1991-92) and President (1995-96) and Executive Director (1997-2000) of the Northeastern Political Science Association.


Areas of Expertise and/or Research

American Politics, U.S. Congress, Vermont Elections


  • A.B., Boston University
  • M.A., The University of Iowa
  • Ph.D., The University of Iowa


  • 802-656-4223
Office Location:

Old Mill Room 504

Office Hours:

On Leave Spring 2018