Burdine Chronicles – August 2017

Dear Alumni and Friends,

I hope everyone has enjoyed their summer! Other than looking forward to a break in the heat, in Austin we are as excited as ever to get the Fall rolling, as we are recruiting two senior methodologists (including statistical methodologists and formal theorists) this year, and once again we have a lot to celebrate.

First, please join me in welcoming our two new assistant professors – Alison Craig (PhD, Ohio State University) and Derek Epp (PhD, UNC-Chapel Hill). Alison and Derek bring new blood to our Public Policy and American Politics fields, and we are fortunate to have them. Their hire rounds out a flurry of recent activity surrounding hiring and promotion. Within the last few years, Bethany Albertson and Amu Liu were promoted to associate professor, Mike Findley was promoted to full professor, and we hired Xiaobo Lu and Zeynep Somer-Topcu. Of course, we also hired John Gerring and Nate Jensen, and we are now hoping to take the next step with our senior methods search.

As to our faculty accomplishments – they are making my job easy here! Consider the awards we are receiving at this weekend’s annual conference of the American Political Science Association:

• Best paper delivered at the 2016 conference (Ken Greene)
• Best article in political economy (Rachel Wellhausen)
• Best article in comparative democratization and qualitative methods (Kurt Weyland)
• Law and Courts teaching and mentoring award (HW Perry)

This year, our recent graduate students are joining the party, too:

• Best dissertation in legislative studies (Michelle Whyman)
• Runner up, best dissertation in the comparative study of democracy (Matt Rhodes-Purdy)

Congratulations to Michelle and Matt on these awesome achievements! Michelle is in the second year of a postdoc at Duke, and Matt is starting a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis. Overall, we have a lot to be happy about with our placement record. This year, we placed 13 students in tenure track jobs, ranging from research positions such as at University of Miami to traditional liberal arts schools such as Colorado College.

Of course, our alumni continue carrying the torch with pride. Congratulations to Janet Box-Steffensmeier for being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; to Ernest McGowen for his promotion to associate professor and new book from Kansas University Press; to Roy Germano for his forthcoming book from Oxford University Press (Outsourcing Welfare: How the Money Immigrants Send Home Contributes to Stability in Developing Countries); to David Crow and Clarisa Perez-Armendariz for their article in Comparative Political Studies; to Chien-wen Kou for being elected president of the Taiwanese Political Science Association; to Neal Allen for his promotion to associate professor; to Justin Dyer for being promoted to full professor; to Josiah Marineau for his APSA small research grant; and to Ariel Helfer for publishing his book, Socrates and Alcibiades: Plato’s Drama of Political Ambition and Philosophy, with University of Pennsylvania Press.

We have also always been fortunate to keep some of our alumni around the 40 Acres, and two in particular have been providing the university and department some exceptional service. Rhonda Evans runs the Clark Center for Australia and New Zealand Studies, and this year taught the Longhorns’ Men’s Basketball team a course on Australia as part of the team’s trip down under. And Jim Henson, who runs the Texas Politics Project, has announced a new program that will allocate proceeds from the project to our graduate students in the form of competitive small research grants.

I also want to thank William Angel for sending in this brief memoir about his second APSA conference.

There are any number of additional faculty accomplishments to also draw attention to (and more general insights too!). This past academic year, Stephanie Holmsten and Pat McDonald won prestigious teaching awards; Tom Pangle (whose next book, on Xenophon, will be published early next year by Chicago, and who recently had two of his books published in Chinese) delivered a lecture this summer to the Siemens Foundation in Munich, Germany as part of their “Future of Democracy” lecture series; Terry Chapman in Senior Editor at International Studies Quarterly; Scott Wolford is Associate Editor at International Studies Quarterly and has a textbook contract he is spinning out of his course, World War I in Real Time; Chris Wlezien has a new National Science Foundation Grant, as does Dan Brinks; and Ben Gregg will hold a visiting position at Oxford.

I think we can all agree – it is a great time to be a Longhorn! The Texas Reception at APSA is Friday at 7:30 pm. Please stop by to say hi and have an over-priced drink on me. I hope to see many of you there and around the conference, perhaps at one of our faculty’s panels.


Robert G. Moser
Professor and Chair