Greetings from Woodburn Hall, home of Indiana University’s Department of Political Science! This is a time of transition at our end, with a new executive team appointed as of July 1. I will serve as Chair of the Department for the next three years. Steven Webster will serve as Director of Graduate Studies and Jacek Dalecki will continue in his role as Director of Undergraduate Studies. We are fortunate to work with a dedicated staff whose daily work makes the running of the department possible: Jan Peterson, Amanda Campbell, Lisa McCoy, Jackie Gentry, Isabel Dowling, and Rick Watson. Our department is also fortunate to work with two outstanding student advisors: Jeanne Myers and Laurie Staring. I am deeply grateful to all of them for working with me!
PolsNews: From the Chair
The big news is that we are growing. This year we are delighted to officially welcome five new colleagues. Jun Sudduth joins us from Glasgow and will be an Associate Professor teaching courses in International Relations. Lizzie Brannon and Nick Bichay join us from Texas Tech University in Lubbock at the level of Assistant Professor and will teach courses in international relations comparative politics. Noah Eber-Schmid will start as Assistant Professor teaching courses in political theory and Michael Weinman will be Senior Lecturer with a dual appointment in Political Science and PACE program. A warm welcome to all of them!
The other good news is that our majors are growing as well, and we have become one of the top departments in the College of Arts and Science with significant potential for further growth. We are determined to avail ourselves of these opportunities. Our Washington DC POLS Internship Program led by Christine Barbour has been successful and has attracted strong interests among our students and alumni. The Indi- ana Political Analytics Program directed by Bill Bianco has also been successful in attracting highly qualified and motivated students.
These new developments have to do with the increasing role politics has in our daily lives today.
Our faculty members who teach courses in political theory, comparative politics, international relations, or American politics examine a wide range of timely and important issues from anger, polarization, and race, to international conflict, corruption, and the virtues sustaining our liberal democratic regimes like moderation. Needless to say, these questions are urgent today when many countries around the world seem increasingly divided, and liberal democracy is under challenge.
Because of that, our department is able to attract students who are interested in learning more about what politics involve and how political institutions can make a difference in the world. We have a strong cohort of directly admitted students in our departments who plan to major in political science. Our students combine a degree in political science with many other majors and schools at IU. We do our best to teach our students to be able to address these challenges, think critically, and engage with the real-world debates they will confront as global citizens.
Our department also has terrific alumni who have used the skills and experiences they gained in political science to enjoy success in a diversity of career paths. We are proud of our alumni who took these analytic skills to a wide range of jobs including marketing, international development, media, think tanks, research, law, government, and more. Our alumni are frequently back on campus, being recognized by the College and university, and are often making connections for our current students to internships and jobs today.
A big priority of my agenda as Chair will be fundraising in collaboration with the College Development Office and the IU Foundation. You should expect to hear from us on a regular basis and receive from us bi-annual newsletter. We want to think big and try new programs and initiatives that could raise the profile and reach of our department. They will require support from the university, but we also count on you and other donors to achieve our goals. For example, we intend to create a Philosophy, Political Science and Economics (PPE) minor, a great brand to attract top students that has been a major success at over 80 other universities in the world. We would also like to start fundraising to create a new Ostrom Chair in Political Science to honor the legacy of Elinor Ostrom (1934-2012), who held Arthur Bentley Chair in our department when she won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2009. We have started exploring creating an Advisory Board meant to help us advance our goals and reach out to the outer world.
We would like to encourage you to stay in touch, join us for lectures, colloquia, and roundtable discussions on hot topics on today’s issues.
Please send us news about what you are doing and let us know what you might want us to do in the near future! You can email us at email@example.com.
Professor | Chair
Department of Political Science