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L. Christopher Plein, Ph.D.


Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service


  • Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia
  • M.A., East Tennessee State University
  • B.A., Emory & Henry College


L. Christopher Plein, Ph. D. is an Eberly Professor of Outstanding Public Service at West Virginia University. He served as chair of the Department of Public Administration from 2004 until 2011 and also served as an Assistant and Associate Dean for West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts & Sciences 2005-2013.

Christopher Plein’s area of speciality is public policy formation and implementation. Recently, his research has concentrated on the study of social programs, with a special emphasis on the effects of welfare reform and state health policy. Professor Plein’s research has reached national audiences through numerous publications and presentations. Dr. Plein also studies public administration and policy in West Virginia. He is co-author of the recently published book, West Virginia Politics and Government (University of Nebraska Press, 2008).

Dr. Plein has been active in university outreach and engagement in West Virginia. In 2004, he was appointed by Governor Wise to serve on the board of directors for the newly established AccessWV state health insurance program which provides health coverage to those with high-risk health conditions. He continues to serve in this role and also provides service to various government committees dealing with the problems of the medically uninsured in the state.

Christopher Plein has also been actively engaged in community development efforts in rural West Virginia. He is a founding member of the West Virginia Community Design Team which organizes teams of volunteers that visit and assist rural communities in identifying community development needs and opportunities. Since 1997, this program has made over 30 visits to communities in the state. Dr. Plein has been a member of a team member on a number of these visits and serves on the program’s steering committee.

In 2006, Dr Plein’s outreach contributions were recognized by West Virginia University when he was named an Eberly Professor of Outstanding Public Service.

L. Christopher Plein holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri – Columbia, a Master of Arts in political science from East Tennessee State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Emory & Henry College.