The Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society was established by an act of U. S. Congress in 2001, making it one of the rare research centers in the country to be established by congressional appropriation. It was named in honor of Diane Divers Blair who taught in the Political Science department at the University of Arkansas for thirty years. Her career outside of teaching included extensive public service as chair of both the U. S. Corporation of Public Broadcasting and the Commission on Public Employee Rights. She was also a founding member of the University of Arkansas Press. In 1992, she joined the Clinton presidential campaign as a senior researcher, after which she was appointed a guest scholar at the Brookings Institute. She returned in 1996 as a senior advisor on the Clinton re-election team. Diane D. Blair was a champion of interdisciplinary research and critical thinking, and she reached across the academic aisles often and with ease. The Blair Center reflects her academic model and strives to approach the study of the American South from a variety of angles, attempting to reveal the undercurrents of politics, history, and culture that have shaped the region over time. (uark.edu).