The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


From its modest beginning in 1910 the Department of Political Science has experienced a steady growth in its curriculum, range of interests, teaching staff, student patronage, and its ties with other units of the University whose concern with fields of study and research have relevance to political matters. Since 1910, nine individuals have presided over the department as chairmen: Joseph R. Hayden, 1937-44; Everett S. Brown, 1944-47, who also served as acting Chairman from 1942-44 during the absence of Professor Hayden; James K. Pollock, 1947-61; Arthur W. Bromage, 1961-64; Samuel J. Eldersveld, 1964-70; Donald G. Stokes, Page  2051970-71; Harold K. Jacobson, 1972-77; and Samuel H. Barnes, 1977 — .

Curricular offerings have expanded from the five listed in the 1910 University catalogue to some 248 course offerings by 1978-79. Expansion of the department's course programs has been the result primarily of three factors: (1) response to demands for training and research in the constantly widening areas of governmental policy-making and administration; (2) changes in the approach, emphases, and methodology in the range of subject matters with which political science is concerned; and (3) recognition of the department's role as an important element in advancing the University's basic function of preparing its students for active and informed participation in public affairs.

The impact of the first of these factors began to be felt as early as 1913 when the department, responding to a need for specialized training and research service in local government, established a master's degree program in Municipal Administration under the direction of Professor Robert T. Crane. The next year a Bureau of Reference and Research in Government, later re-named the Bureau of Government, was established as a center for carrying on research and service functions in this field. In 1937 the program was reorganized and given a broader focus by the creation of the Institute for Public Administration, under the direction of Professor George C. S. Benson of this department, with a master's in Public Administration as its degree objective. In 1967-68, reflecting a further shift of focus, the Institute was re-named the Institute for Public Policy Studies, with a two-year study and in-service training program terminating in the M.P.P.S. degree. Recently it initiated a Ph.D. program as well. Professor John P. Crecine, of this department, was the Institute's first Director; and it has been headed in recent years by Professor Jack L. Walker of the Department of Political Science. Nine members of the department's instructional staff presently hold joint appointments in the department and on the Institute's staff.

Probably the most profound impact upon the department's curriculum and approach to the subject-matter field of political science has come through its close relationship with the Institute for Social Research, which was established at Page  206the University in 1946. The Institute's Center for Political Studies, under the direction of Professor Warren E. Miller of this department, includes fifteen members of the department's staff through joint appointments. It now provides research facilities and support for the training of a large proportion of the graduate students of the department. Employing the techniques and methodology of empirical research, rather than the normative, descriptive, and analytical approach characteristic of earlier stages in the development of political science as a field of study, the department's offerings now heavily emphasize political behavior studies. These changes were initiated mainly during the chairmanship of Professor Eldersveld during the 1960s. They reflected developments then becoming prevalent in the political science profession itself; and the adaptations and innovations that have been made in the department's main focus of interest and research have been responsible in a very fundamental way for the high ranking it currently enjoys in the nation.

Reflective of the University's continually broadening range of interests has been the department's participation in the offering of area programs of study as well as others directed toward intensive study of specific aspects of American society. Area programs with which the department is currently associated through course offerings include those connected with centers for studies on Japan, China, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Western Europe, South and Southeast Asia, Afro-America and Africa, and the Near East and Northern Africa. The department has had a close relationship with the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, maintained jointly by the University and Wayne State University. Programs of a specialized nature in which the department's staff have played prominent roles in recent years have included, among others, the Flint Metropolitan Area research program, the Detroit Area Survey, the Center for Conflict Resolution, and an interdepartmental Ph.D. program in Mass Communications.

The department's current personnel is made up of 27 Professors, 11 Associate Professors, 10 Assistant Professors, and 5 Lecturers and/or Instructors, as well as several additional visiting scholars. Since 1977 former President of the United States Gerald R. Ford, who holds the title of Page  207Adjunct Professor, has appeared on the campus on several occasions under the auspices of the department to conduct seminars and offer lectures on topics connected with national political affairs. Over the years a considerable number of other individuals of distinction in political science in this country and from abroad have been members of the staff as visiting scholars. Individual members of the department's staff have made contributions to the profession of political science in many important ways. Following a tradition of long standing, numerous members of the staff have served the national, state, and local governments in a variety of posts and capacities during their tenure in the department.