Ross E. Cheit
Professor of Public Policy and:
Phone 2: 863-2201
My current research focuses on the intersection between law, public policy, and psychology in understanding social responses to child sexual abuse in the contemporary United States. I also have research interests in two other areas: first, in the civil justice system and the relationship between insurance and society; second, in "good government" and ethics in government, particularly at the state and local level in Rhode Island.
Professor of Political Science and Public Policy. J.D. (1981) and Ph.D. (1986), University of California at Berkeley. Specialization in ethics ad public policy, criminal justice, children and public policy, and the politics of food. His first book, Setting Safety Standards: Regulation in the Public and Private Sectors, was published by the University of California Press. He is currently writing a book on the law and politics of child sexual abuse.
My current book project involves original court research into major day-care sex abuse cases from the 1980s. Peripheral projects related to this project include: empirical court studies of sentencing practices for sex crimes, and media coverage studies (one extending Beckett's analysis of major magazines and the other examining television newsmagazines).
Best of WebCT [Social Sciences] (January 2005)
Public Service Award, Common Cause/Rhode Island (November 1999)
William G. McLoughlin Jr. Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences (April 1998)
Faculty Fellow, Ethics and Public Administration Program, University of Rhode Island (1994-97)
Presidential Fellowship, Salzburg Seminar in American Studies (summer 1993)
Fellowship, Harvard Program in Ethics and the Professions (1990-91)
Fellowship, Henry Wriston Merritt (Brown University, 1990)
Barrett Hazeltine Teaching Citation (Brown University, 1989)
Member, American Political Science Association
Member, Law and Society Association
Inactive member, California State Bar
I teach in a variety of areas where law and public policy overlap. My courses focus on the United States and they take a multi-disciplinary and institutional approach. Currently, my upper-level seminars are Good Government and the Criminal Justice System. I also teach a general elective on the Politics of Food, and I teach the honors colloquium in Public Policy.
- Study Evaluates Criminal Justice Handling of Statutory Rape Cases (2005)
- Most R.I. quasi-public agencies do not comply with public access laws (2003)
- PBS Frontline dismisses the evidence and embraces a child molester (2002)
- What was Left Out? A Critique of "Capturing the Friedmans" (2010)
- Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs (Launched 9/10)
- Recovered Memory Project (Launched 8/97)