Courses I teach…


POLS112  American National Government and Politics

This is the basic introductory course to American government—three branches, checks and balances, Constitution, civil rights—I’ve always believed that this class teaches you how to read a newspaper, and should be required of everyone who wants to vote.  I don’t teach this as often as I used to as the University makes other demands on my time.


POLS320  Introduction to Public Administration

This is an outstanding study of organizational theory.  Yeah, that sounds fancy—but it really is just a close look at how “work” is organized and the different strategies that have been used to organize work over the last century.  It’s really interesting.  Though it applies primarily to government, much of it applies to private sector as well.  We do a case study in this course on a large unit of local government, and also take a field trip there.  The case study really brings the concepts together.  One student wrote that the case study was “one of the most productive projects that I have spent time on,” adding that she “formed views about real life organizations, which will benefit me in the future.  Thank you for this lesson and realization.”     This is the only POLS course that can get you credit for Business School degrees.


POLS343  American State Government

I really enjoy teaching this course about a largely hidden layer of government.  Sure, we see states all the time, but it usually is about the functions states perform—like policing the highways or collecting taxes or raising the drinking age.  In this class, we delve into the structures of states, examine the designs of state institutions, and pay special attention to the way state political culture affects us all.  We also look at the influence of state power and each student does a case study of a specific state.  I use this course to test and develop your research and writing skills.  I believe that state government is probably the most important government in the country.  Take the class and you’ll find out why!


POLS344  Urban Politics

This is my favorite class.  I designed it and I love every minute of it.  Cities are exciting units of government to study because this is where the world happens!  National, state, and global politics are played out at the street level—and this course takes you to the street level.  Again, there is an emphasis on the case study method and honing your research skills.  We use many other disciplines to learn about cities:  history, economics, film, architecture, geography, and more.  A lot of creative learning tools are incorporated at various times, including simulations, field trips, and group research with other universities.  I always think it’s smart to take a professor’s “signature” class—well, this one is mine.  This course (for some) leads to internships and other career connections.  I’m happy to work with you.  This course is also part of the Black Studies Program.


POLS429  Topics in Public Administration

I’ve taught a few special topics courses (one-time offerings) in this field.  One course, Holding Bureaucrats Accountable, examined the special forces of local bureaucracy.  Another, Public Budgeting in Fall 08, will examine how the money works—and you will be surprised at how it does!!!


POLS449  Topics in American Politics

This course is often a precursor to new course offerings.  POLS344 started out as a POLS449 offering.  Well, the next POLS449 I have in mind is Urban Political Economy.  Ever notice that gas stations are all congregated around the same intersection?  Ever notice that shopping malls have the same mix of stores no matter where you go?  Ever notice that the sports teams are all getting relatively new stadiums?  There’s a reason for this—and UPE will tell you why!  Maybe in fall 2009???


IS401  Business and Society

This course is dedicated to ethics.  It’s designed for business majors and the B-school buys out one of my time slots each year so that I can team-teach it (lately with Professor Gilbert).  Business ethics (or the lack thereof) have been in the news quite a bit, and in modern times have come to define significant events where Business and Society intersect.  Ever heard of Sarbanes-Oxley?  …the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations?  …an ethics audit?  Well, IS401 will take you to Enron and beyond!


Other courses…


Now when you look at the Registrar’s course schedules, you’ll see my name listed for the courses below.  These are all independent study courses that are customized between professor and student.  They are listed because they are “authorized” each semester—but depending on your schedule or mine, they may not be “offered.” 


I only take on independent study students who are interested in my specialty areas of Public Administration or Urban Politics.  Technically, these courses are “in addition” to the regular work load, so I offer these as a courtesy to my students and never take on more than two per semester.  I am happy to discuss the possibility of arranging one of these courses with you, but can make no promises of availability.


POLS310  Directed Readings

POLS410  Legal Internship

POLS411  Internship in Government

ENSC591  Graduate Readings in Environmental Science


Courses I used to teach…


GBA300  Fundamentals of Business Knowledge

I loved this course when it was an interdisciplinary skills class.  It was a great way to take standard business topics and give them a liberal arts flare.  It was replaced by IS401.


POLS342  American Public Policy

What an outstanding course.  I fill in teaching this course when the regular professors need a break.  It’s an excellent overview of key policy issues facing the United States.


HIST510  Graduate Readings in History

I have worked with graduate History students in the past in an independent readings format.  I am happy to discuss the possibility of doing this again.


LIBS400  Liberal Studies Senior Project

I have served as a mentor/supervisor for the Liberal Studies program senior assignment.   I am happy to discuss the possibility of doing this again.


WMST490  Urban Politics and the Role of Women and Family

This was an excellent examination of the scholarship of Daphne Spain, whose book How Women Saved the City was the core text of the class.  Taught alongside my friend and colleague Dr. Debra Moore, this course was an examination of the overlooked role women played in the Progressive Era growth of American cities, and how family life influenced suburban change.  It was my first time teaching in the Women’s Studies Program, but hopefully not my last!