Department of Political Science Strategic Plan (2009-2014)
The Department of Political Science is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service, and to offering an undergraduate curriculum designed to provide students with a solid foundation and broad understanding of the discipline of political science, and to allow students to specialize in areas of particular substantive interest. Our M.A. program is intended for students who may wish to pursue the Ph.D. at a later point, and for those who wish for an enriched understanding of political science to bring to their future employment in the public or private sector. Our masters program in public administration produces well trained public servants, and our doctoral program in political science develops sophisticated, skilled scholars and researchers. We provide services to local, regional, and state public agencies through our Center for Public Service, and the Lewis and Maxine Earl Survey Research Laboratory.
The Department of Political Science aspires to the highest national standards in teaching, research, and service, while maintaining an educational and professional atmosphere of diversity and inclusiveness at all levels. We look to increase the popularity of our undergraduate major, to make our graduate programs nationally recognized programs of choice, and to serve our students, profession, and community in diverse ways.
Department of Political Science Core Values
- Excellence in teaching, research, and service.
- Critical thinking, creativity, and originality as they may foster excellence in teaching, research, and service.
- Respect for students, staff, and faculty.
- Community service at all levels -- local, regional, state, national.
- Ethical principles and standards in all that we do.
- Academic freedom, personal responsibility, and the traditions of higher education.
- Diversity in student population, faculty, staff, and teaching materials.
STRATEGIC GOALS, BENCHMARKS, and OBJECTIVES
INVEST IN THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
Goal 1. Access and Diversity: Recruit, retain, and graduate a larger, more academically prepared, and more diverse student body in the Department of Political Science.
- Increase the number, quality, and diversity of undergraduate and graduate students in the department.
- Increase diversity of tenure-line faculty.
- Increase donors for minority scholarships.
Objective 1.1: Increase the number of minority students among our majors.
- Make connections with pre-professional degree students (Law, Business, Medicine) and articulate the advantages of a Political Science major.
- Improve communication with our BA, MA, MPA, PhD graduates so they may serve as a recruiting resource.
- Develop brochures and other recruitment materials that express our concern and interest in minority affairs.
- Engage our current minority students in these efforts and to have them serve as role models.
- Cooperate with the office of Admissions and New Student Relations to identify potential minority students and to make contact with them.
- Contact campus-wide minority student organizations for their help in recruiting students into our graduate programs.
- Develop our department web site to be more attractive to minority students.
- Make in-person recruitment visits to minority serving institutions.
- Ensure that issues of diversity are considered in choosing special topics course at the 3000 level.
- Sponsor speakers whose topics may be of particular interest to minority students.
Objective 1.2: Increase financial support for minority students.
- Solicit donations from former students/alumni (including minority students) to raise special scholarship funds for minority individuals.
- Recognize such donors at our annual department awards ceremony.
Objective 1.3: Increase the number of high-quality students among our majors.
- Engage our current students in these efforts and have them serve as role models.
- Cooperate with the office of Admissions and New Student Relations to Identify potential students and to make contact with them.
- Work with the Honors College to recruit Political Science and pre-law majors
- Develop a more attractive department web site.
Objective 1.4: Increase the number and quality of graduate students.
- Engage our faculty and current students in these efforts.
- Cooperate with the Graduate School to identify potential new students and to make personal contact with them
- Maximize internal recruiting opportunities.
- Develop our department web site to be more attractive and informative.
- Make in-person recruitment visits to nearby institutions.
- Keep in touch with our graduates who teach in colleges and universites and ask them to recommend their best students.
Goal 2. Human Resources and Infrastructure: Increase and use resources to recruit and retain quality faculty and staff and to support an optimal work environment.
- Offer nationally competitive salaries for new faculty.
- Encourage annual submissions for college REF funds, and other available university funds.
- Reduce faculty turnover to no more than 10% in a given year.
- Have full compliance with university employee training programs.
- Nominate deserving staff for service awards.
- Eliminate staff complaints about faculty/student behavior.
- Utilize work-load policy for faculty research, instructional development.
Objective 2.1: Encourage, support, and reward efforts to hire, promote, and retain excellent and diverse faculty, academic professionals, and staff.
- Offer salaries competitive with peer institutions.
- Provide appropriate developmental feedback on teaching, research, and service.
- Implement the workload policy.
- Identify sources of additional support for new faculty.
- Encourage new faculty, especially, to participate in REF and other local grant programs.
- Identify and utilize role models for mentoring programs.
Objective 2.2: Secure the funds for an endowed chair in Political Science.
- Work with the college and university development staff to identify specific contributors.
- Establish a faculty committee to determine the specifics of the endowed appointment – area, level of funding needed, means of recruitment.
Objective 2.3: Increase the number of tenure track faculty.
- Work with the college and university administration to increase the number of tenure track faculty to better serve state-mandated courses, anticipated increases in general enrollment, and majors.
Objective 2.4: Reduce turnover among faculty and staff.
- Have frequent discussions with faculty to determine needs.
- Have an annual retreat to improve collegiality.
- Help faculty obtain clearly defined goals.
- Make sure faculty know about various personal assistance programs at TTU.
- Seek ways to reward, tangibly and intangibly, excellent faculty efforts.
Objective 2.5: To ensure that all employee training programs are completed.
- Make a list of all such training programs before start of fall semester.
- Hold an early faculty meeting to make sure faculty get the message.
- Have faculty immediately develop a schedule for completion of these programs.
Objective 2.6: Increase faculty diversity.
- Increase the number of ethnic minority faculty by using every resource available in the form of newsletters, personal contacts, and special publications.
- Enlist the aid of existing campus minority faculty to help recruit others.
- Make sure that our search committees are making every possible effort to identify minority applicants.
Objective 2.7: Improve staff situations.
- Seek extraordinary increases for exceptional staff performance, especially for staff with many years of experience.
- Nominate appropriate staff for every possible employee recognition award.
- Provide staff opportunities for educational and professional development.
- Provide senior staff with special opportunities for professional development such as workshops, travel, association dues, etc.
- Make sure faculty understand work assignment procedures, and do not overburden staff.
- Seek and be responsive to suggestions from staff on department operations.
- Develop a policy of modest flexibility when personal issues arise.
- Advocate the adjustment of salaries to be competitive with the private sector.
- Continue to recognize staff at award functions.
ENRICH THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE
Goal 3. Undergraduate Teaching and Learning: Provide excellent instruction and attain or exceed expected learning outcomes in our undergraduate programs.
- Increase average course evaluations.
- Encourage faculty members to strive for a campus-wide teaching award.
- Ensure no advisement complaints.
Objective 3.1: Enhance the quality of our undergraduate teaching.
- Recruit only faculty with substantial and outstanding performance and/or potential as classroom instructors.
- Review and augment the materials and instructional methods of our socialization course for all TAs.
- Reemphasize our focus on quality undergraduate instruction to all faculty.
- Include in-depth teaching performance reviews during the annual performance evaluation process.
- Make certain faculty are aware of various campus groups dedicated to improvement in teaching -- TLTC, Teaching Academy.
- Increase the number of faculty nominated for various teaching awards.
- Publicize opportunities for undergraduates to present their work(e.g., Southwestern Political Science Association).
Objective 3.2: Provide high quality advising to undergraduate students.
- Make sure our undergraduate and staff advisors are well-informed and current about changes or emphases in our undergraduate programs.
- Include our undergraduate advisor in discussions about revisions in our undergraduate programs.
- Provide opportunities for our undergraduate advisor to increase his/her advisement skills and knowledge.
- Assist the advisor in the preparation of advisement materials.
- institute senior exit interviews.
Objective 3.3: Develop a faculty/student research program for undergraduates.
- Make funds available for faculty/student collaborative research projects.
- Develop the procedures for soliciting and evaluating such proposals.
- Provide a mechanism for the reporting and presentation of the products of such projects.
Goal 4: Graduate and Professional Education: Provide excellent instruction and attain or exceed expected learning outcomes in our graduate programs.
- Maintain accreditation of our MPA program.
- Increase the number of graduate program inquiries.
- Make recruiting visits at local and regional colleges and universities.
- Continue funding graduate student conference presentations.
- Make dossiers and vita for each graduating doctoral student available on the Department website.
- Increase graduate student stipends to nationally competitive levels.
- Contact donors for graduate scholarships and programs.
- Offer incentives for faculty involvement in graduate recruitment.
- Increase the number of externally funded projects through the Center for Public Service.
- Offer at least two invited speakers each year
Objective 4.1: Provide high quality advising to graduate students in Political Science.
- Maintain a graduate affairs committee to assist the Graduate Advisor in Political Science.
- Maintain an up-to-date and accurate handbook for the MA/PhD program.
- Revise and reenvision graduate curricula to ensure that they meet or exceed the national expectations for the discipline.
- Offer annual meeting on career placement issues.
- Maintain an orientation meeting for new/old students.
Objective 4.2: Provide high quality advising to graduate students in the MPA program.
- Create an advising system utilizing track specific advisors.
- Update MPA handbook annually.
- Develop advising materials for the MPA program.
- Offer annual workshops on career placement issues
Objective 4.3: Maintain accreditation of our MPA program.
- Periodically review our MPA program vis a vis accreditation requirements.
- Maintain ongoing relationships with our accrediting body (NASPAA).
- Make the administration aware of any problems as they develop and resolve them quickly.
Objective 4.4: Increase the visibility of our graduate programs.
- Develop informational brochures for wide, regional distribution.
- Update and maintain an effective web site for the purpose of graduate recruitment.
- Hold receptions at professional conferences and distribute informational brochures about our department.
- Seek funding from the Graduate School to increase the quality of our promotional materials.
- Make recruiting visits at local and regional colleges and universities.
Objective 4.5: Develop faculty incentives for graduate student recruitment.
- Determine the availability of local funds for this effort.
- Make available additional travel/research support for faculty engaged in the personal contact/recruitment of graduate students.
- Develop guidelines for the monitoring and awarding of such funds.
Objective 4.6: Continue to support graduate students with travel, and dossier preparation funds.
- Use cost-of-education, graduate tuition, and fund for excellence monies for this purpose.
- Continue to fund substantially graduate students for conference presentations.
- Continue to fund graduate students' dossier/vitae preparation.
Objective 4.7: Provide additional funds for graduate student support.
- Increase TA stipends.
- Increase summer funding for graduate students.
- Seek private donor support for graduate student scholarships.
- Seek more fellowship support from public and private sources.
Goal 5. Engagement: Provide scholarly outreach opportunities that contribute to students' learning and that benefit our communities, the state, and nation.
- Promote joint projects with other institutions.
- Develop exchange of speakers with other institutions.
- Expand full internship placements for MPA students.
- Increase external research contracts through the Survey Research Laboratory.
- Encourage additional joint degree programs for MPA students (e.g., with Departments of Environmental Toxicology, and Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work)
- Offer annual participation in Latin American and Iberian Studies and Russian Area Studies programs.
- Encourage private donations.
Objective 5.1: Broaden alliances between Political Science at TTU and at other institutions.
- Contact chairpersons or known colleagues at other departments in the region.
- Develop programs that make use of areas of expertise of each.
- Consider developing joint project, grant applications for ARP, etc.
- Develop a mutual exchange of speakers.
Objective 5.2: Continue to make effective use of the Center for Public Service.
- Expand areas of cooperation with city, SPAG, state government.
- Continue to place graduate student interns in relevant local agencies.
- Be a source of projects for the Survey Research Laboratory.
- Secure a self-funded support person for the Center for Public Service.
Objective 5.3: Nurture the new MPA program alliances.
- Continue cooperation with TTUHSC in Health Policy track.
- Maintain joint degree program with Department of Economics and Geography, Law School.
- Develop joint degree program with Social Work, Agricultural Economics.
- Continue to build relationship with Environmental Toxicology and nurture joint degree program.
Objective 5.4: Develop more relationships with the private sector.
- Develop a department summary statement listing available areas of expertise.
- Contact alumni and other individuals identified through A&S development as possible contributors.
- List department needs.
- Arrange meetings to discuss possible donations.
Objective 5.5: Increase Participation in Latin American and Iberian Studies and Russian Area Studies interdisciplinary programs.
- Continue cooperation with these programs.
- Arrange for mutual/joint support of speakers.
- Hire faculty who can contribute to these programs.
ADVANCE RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ENDEAVORS
Goal 6. Research Productivity: Increase research productivity and funding for all areas of inquiry within the department.
- Increase the number of annual submissions for federal and private research funds.
- Ensure faculty nomination for research awards on and off campus.
- Ensure 1 nation-wide professional outlet – database, journal, series, conference - each year.
- Increase the percentage of articles submitted to and accepted by top-ranked journals.
- Support and participate in efforts to receive nationally competitive fellowships and awards.
- Advocate new adjunct faculty for the MPA program.
- Increase the number of external contracts through the Survey Research Laboratory.
Objective 6.1: To become a department recognized for its quality and quantity of research.
- Emphasize the importance of external support for merit evaluations, and tenure and promotion decisions.
- Follow university workload guidelines to allow time for preparation of large grant applications.
- Permit, as possible, course buy-outs funded by research proposals.
- Develop a journal, database, conference, or other project that will attract national attention and use.
- Emphasize the importance of high quality publications in top-ranked journals.
- Nominate faculty for various outstanding researcher awards.
- Make thorough and exhaustive use of university resources (ORS, Office of Development, etc.) in identifying and d-eveloping applications.
Objective 6.2: Provide opportunities for faculty development.
- Identify and distribute relevant OPs.
- Invite discussions with the chairperson and other administrators on development opportunities.
- Reward faculty for obtaining nationally competitive fellowships and other development positions.
Objective 6.3: To achieve a greater number of interdisciplinary and collaborative proposals.
- Alert faculty to the benefits of interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.
- Encourage faculty to be more entrepreneurial and innovative in marketing their research and finding sources of support.
Goal 7. Partnerships: Build strategic partnerships and alliances with communities, government, business, industry, and schools, colleges, and universities.
- Establish partnerships with organizations for the purposes of providing internships, promoting joint initiatives and shared sponsorships, creating research and service learning opportunities for students and faculty, and generating research funding.
Objective 7.1: Increase internal awareness of the activities of the Department of Political Science.
- Use of the UD and University News and Publications whenever we have a significant event of interest to the university community.
- Use of the university’s electronic bulletin board and post notices of upcoming events.
- Invite faculty, students, and staff to these events.
Objective 7.2: Increase external awareness of the activities of the Department of Political Science.
- Develop a list of faculty speakers and topics to be distributed to various civic organizations.
- Arrange for News and Publications to distribute to local media announcements and news stories of upcoming events.
- Have faculty continue to volunteer to give “expert” interviews during elections and other relevant events.
- Include community leaders on our newsletter mailing list.
Objective 7.3: Fully engage the Center for Public Service in community, regional, and state-wide activities, and develop a brochure that outlines the activities and resources of the Center.
- Arrange for meetings with public and private community leaders to foster Center engagement.
- Engage the Center in pro bono activities that support our community.
- Integrate a service learning component into the curriculum of the MPA program.
- Publish annual Center for Public Service newsletter sent to community leaders.
Objective 7.4: Establish research programs with community entities.
- Meet with community leaders to determine areas of common interest with faculty to develop collaborative grant or contract applications.
- Utilize the Center for Public Service to broker some relationships.
- Include student research assistants, or give course credit for participating in these projects.
Objective 7.5: Become more engaged in distance education activities.
- Review and expand current distance education offerings.
- Consider the development of a distance education degree, in whole or in part, in Public Administration.
Objective 7.6: Develop a full-service survey research facility.
- Hire a research director for the survey laboratory
- Maintain an experienced, skilled manager for the laboratory.
- Review operations and procedures for the facility.
- Develop a “quick strike” survey potential to address inquiries requiring immediate response.
- Seek long-term agreements with regional and state-wide entities to permanently house a standing survey.
- Determine and develop a permanent research database located within the survey facility to fully utilize its server capabilities.
- Establish a long-term resident survey for region/state use.
- Participate in faculty and collaborative research projects.
- Participate in developing course materials and offerings using survey lab.
Objective 7.7: Establish and maintain excellent relations within the public and business communities, and various governmental agencies.
- Participate in government internship programs.
- Recruit adjunct faculty from the public and private sector for our graduate programs.
- Make sure public is aware and invited when we have speakers and other events.
- Continue to get newspaper and other coverage (use News and Publications) for our events, projects, and achievements.