Robert O. Tilman (1929-1987) was professor of political science, 1971-1987; dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1971-1984; and founder of the North Carolina Japan Center at North Carolina State University. Tilman was an expert in Southeast Asian political systems.
Tilman was a member of the Association for Asian Studies, Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group, Asia Society, Southeastern Regional Conference on Asian Studies, XXVII International Congress of Orientalists, American Political Science Association, Southern Political Science Association, American Conference of Academic Deans, and the Board of Directors of the Triange University Center for Advanced Studies. His honors included membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, as well as selection as an American Society of International Law Fellow, 1963; American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, 1964; National Science Foundation Senior Fellow, 1969-1970; American Philosophical Society Fellow, 1974; and Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, 1982-1983.
Tilman received a B.S. from Memphis State University in 1957; M.A. from Duke University in 1959; and Ph.D. from Duke University in 1961. He was employed by the United State Army Security Agency from 1951 to 1954 and the National Security Agency from 1954 to 1957 before he began his teaching career. He was an assistant professor at Tulane University, 1962-1965; assistant and associate professor at Yale University, 1965-1970; senior research fellow at Columbia University, 1970-1971; and professor at North Carolina State University, 1971-1987.
Born in Caruthersville, Missouri, on 21 July 1929, Tilman married Jo Carolyn Huddleston on 19 December 1954. Tilman died on 23 August 1987.
From the guide to the Robert O. Tilman Papers, 1950s-1980s, (Special Collections Research Center)