Kansas State University


Political Science

Category: FALL 2013

A Note from the Department Head

Jeff PickeringK-State has set a lofty goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025. This goal has multiple components, but two are perhaps central. The first is a positive, student-centered atmosphere with a concentration on excellent teaching. The second is outstanding scholarship and research, which informs and improves instruction while it simultaneously benefits society as a whole. As you know, K-State Political Science has been successful in both of these key endeavors for some time, and we continue to move from strength to strength.

We are going to highlight our commitment to students and to research success in a series of e-newsletters this fall (you probably noticed the change in format!).  The first e-newsletter will focus on the accomplishments of our outstanding undergraduate majors and our faculty’s commitment to undergraduate teaching. The second will share information on our recent research accomplishments, which continue to raise the department’s visibility in the US and across the globe. We will also highlight the generous charitable gifts provided by alumni and friends in this second fall e-newsletter installment. We could never do many of the positive, enriching things that we do without your support.

The third e-newsletter will concentrate on our graduate programs, which are in the process of undergoing substantial revision following feedback from students, the MPA program executive advisory council, and outside evaluators. We consistently work to improve our already strong graduate programs (as we do our undergraduate programs and all of our academic endeavors), and always welcome your ideas for further improvement.     

We would also appreciate feedback on our new e-newsletter format.  We are excited about it because it allows us to communicate with you more frequently and to provide a little more depth to the information that we share.  Don’t worry – we would certainly never overload your email in-box! We know that life is frequently busy in today’s world, and that there is such a thing as “too much information.”  We would be honored, however, to share highlights with you periodically.

As always, if you happen to be in Manhattan, please stop by and visit!  

Jeffrey Pickering
Department Head

Prominent Scholars Give Talks in the Department

Four internationally prominent political scientists traveled to Manhattan to meet with political science students and faculty last year. Each also presented well-attended talks on campus.

Ann BowmanAnn Bowman, Professor and Hazel Davis and Robert Kennedy Chair at Texas A&M University, gave a presentation entitled “The State-Local Government Power Differential” on May 13.  Bowman is the author of multiple books and has published in leading journals in both political science and public administration such as Public Administration Review, Publius, and Political Research Quarterly. She was previously the James and Maude Professor of Government at the University of South Carolina.

Continue reading “Prominent Scholars Give Talks in the Department”

Aistrup Named Dean at Auburn University

AistrupOne reason visiting scholars enjoy coming to KSU is the opportunity it provides for interaction and collaboration with our own well-known faculty. Unfortunately, an important professor in the department has departed for career advancement. Joe Aistrup, who served as Head of the department from 2002 to 2009 and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2009 to 2013, became the new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University in Alabama in August. Aistrup had an extremely positive impact on the department during his tenure as Head, and his influence will be felt for years to come.

Continue reading “Aistrup Named Dean at Auburn University”

New Public Administration Faculty Member Joins KSU

We are pleased to announce that Zhiwei Zhang, who recently earned his PhD in Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky, has joined the department. Zhang is an expert in public budgeting, public finance and non-profit finance, and will teach courses on these subjects and others in the MPA program and the department. He recently published an article on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Public Performance and Management Review and has presented research at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management meetings.

Dr. Zhang’s arrival is just one of the exciting developments within our MPA program we plan to highlight in future newsletters!