September 2008

What Makes a Good Syllabus?
By Lee Trepanier on September 07, 2008

Although there are numerous ways to identify the components of a syllabus, I would argue that content, method, and objectives are the fundamental elements of a syllabus. Essentially, the professor has to answer three questions for the student: What will I learn? How will I learn it (which also implies how will I be evaluated)? and Why should I learn the material and method that you have proposed? Satisfactorily answering the last question is probably the most difficult for the professor, given the reasons mentioned earlier in the blog, e.g., studentsí utilitarian view of education, bureaucratic obstacles that universities create to prevent a coherent curriculum, the commercialization of higher education, and so on. Obviously, the syllabusí content, method, and objectives will be modified according to different discipline, type of class, and quality of student as well as the professorís pedagogical philosophy and classroom manner; but, I think itís possible to identify some commonalities in these three areas, particularly in course method, that make some syllabi stronger than others.

Job Opening at Texas State University-San Marcos: Assistant Professor of American Political Theory/ Constitutional Law
By Jen Schwarz on September 16, 2008

Texas State University Ė San Marcos invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in American Political Theory/Constitutional Law, at the Assistant Professor level (Job Posting # 2009-8).


Candidate must be qualified to teach in political science programs at both the undergraduate and graduate Masters level. Salary commensurate with qualifications.

Qualifications Required

  1. Earned doctorate in Political Science with background in American political thought;
  2. Demonstrated evidence of teaching promise; and
  3. Demonstrated qualification to teach courses in American Political thought and constitutional law/civil liberties.


  1. Demonstrated ability in scholarly research in American Political thought;
  2. Demonstrated ability to communicate with students in the classroom;
  3. Effective interpersonal skills.

Application Procedures

Review of application will begin November 1, 2008. All applications will be held in strict confidence and will be accepted until the position is filled, but applicants are strongly encouraged to submit materials before the review of applicants begins.

Applicants may submit application materials electronically, using Microsoft Word doc or rtf, or pdf files.

Letters of application addressing required and preferred qualifications, a curriculum vita, a statement of teaching philosophy, teaching evaluations (if available), all college transcripts, samples of scholarly work (presentations and/or publications), and three letters of recommendation should be sent to:

Dr. Robert Gorman
American Search Committee Chair, Job Posting #2009-8
Department of Political Science
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666-4616

Phone: 512-245-2143
Fax: 512-245-7815

Teaching Opportunity at Belmont Abbey College: Assistant or Associate Professor of Political Science in field of American Politics
By Jen Schwarz on September 16, 2008

Belmont Abbey College invites applications for a tenure-track position as Assistant or Associate Professor of Political Science in the field of American Politics beginning in mid-August, 2009. Candidates should have demonstrated ability or exceptional promise as teachers and be prepared to teach most of the following courses: American Government, The American Founding, American Political Thought, The American Presidency, Congress, Parties and Elections, American Foreign Policy. Additionally, ability to teach Comparative Government or International Relations would be welcome. A Ph.D. in political science at the time of appointment is required and teaching experience preferred. Teaching load will consist of four sections (three preparations) per semester. Rank and salary will be commensurate with teaching credentials and experience.

A letter of application, C.V., teaching evaluations (if available), and the names, telephone numbers, and contact information of three references should be submitted to:

Dr. Robert Jones, Chair
Department of Political Science
100 Belmont-Mt. Holly Road
Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, NC 28012

All application materials (including three references) need to be received by October 30, 2008. Rank and salary will be commensurate with teaching credentials and experience. Located ten minutes west of Charlotte, North Carolina, Belmont Abbey College is a Catholic, Benedictine school that educates a diverse student body in the liberal arts and sciences. The College, which is more than 130 years old, is know for its dedicated faculty, their excellent teaching, the personal attention that students receive, and a friendly atmosphere both inside and outside the classroom. There is a Benedictine monastery on campus, as well as a minor basilica. In keeping with the monksí age-old tradition of hospitality, the College community welcomes newcomers and works together for the benefit of our student, aiming to exemplify the aspiration that our College motto encapsulates: That in all things God may be glorified.

For more information about Belmont Abbey College, visit our website at

Job Opportunity at The David Horowitz Freedom Center: Strategic Communications Director
By Jen Schwarz on September 16, 2008

The David Horowitz Freedom Center is an ideologically conservative, non-profit education and advocacy institution (Organization) located in Los Angeles. The Organization is seeking a highly skilled marketing and public relations professional.


As Strategic Communications Director you will be responsible for planning, initiating and managing the marketing and public relations activities for the Organization. You will focus on promoting and expanding the reach and impact of the Organizationís 1) educational and advocacy content (e.g. speakers, articles, videos, pamphlets, books, petitions, and OpEds), 2) programmatic events (e.g. conferences, campus programs, and book tours). You will plan the overall communications strategy, develop branding and messaging then promote the Organization and its programs across various media outlets including traditional television, radio and print as well as seminar and conference speaking opportunities, press releases, direct mail, advertising and the entire online realm of websites, blogs, wikis, social networks and related portals (e.g. Facebook, You Tube, Ning, TownHall, etc.) You will report directly to the VP of Development and you will work closely with the Founder and President as well as senior management to achieve the Organization's targeted strategic communications goals.


You should have a University degree and at least three years of experience in marketing and/or public relations for a non-profit or commercial organization (e.g. think tank, lobbying group, political organization, academic institution) and bring strong, established relationships with media organizations, editors and reporters. You should be fluent in the realm of political ideas and public intellectual discourse with particular insight to issues defending and promoting free people and free markets. In addition, your written and oral communication skills should be top notch. Marketing savvy and experience in the dynamic online segment are a must. You must be an independent thinker who is able to innovate, produce and execute compelling marketing programs, often on tight deadline through your energy, creativity, relationships and moxie.


  • Develop and execute a marketing/advertising/media strategy
  • Coordinate marketing/advertising/media programs
  • Manage the efforts of an outside agency and/or inside public relations/marketing/media team
  • Initiate, develop, coordinate, and distribute communications materials, literature, online resources, videos, programs and press releases
  • Create and manage organizational master media archive and directory
  • Manage media campaigns to promote all of the Organizationís websites
  • Lead and manage the development of collateral material and presentations
  • Create and administer the Marketing Department operating budget
  • Develop, implement and manage marketing /advertising/media performance measurements
  • Prepare Annual Report on activities of the Organization
  • Prepare bi-weekly marketing/media reports to Senior Staff, Major Donors and Board of Directors
  • Develop, plan and participate in marketing and media networking events
  • Develop and promote collaborative relationships with like-minded organizations and co-manage joint projects


  • Ability to build, motivate and work within a team to accomplish project goals
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong Internet/online marketing skills
  • Excellent "face-to-face' marketing/selling/media skills
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills
  • Self-starter who takes initiative and is able to work independently
  • Commitment to the goals and values of the Organization


Competitive salary and flexible benefits package commensurate with experience

Send cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to:

Teaching Today's Generation
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on September 25, 2008

The majority of today's university students are what are called Millenials. Millenials are students who have been born between 1980 and 2000. They are a part of the first digital generation, human beings who were born in the digital age of computers, the Internet, and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The world of the Millenials is distinctly different than that of Generation X, the Baby Boomers, and Veterans.

Who are these Millenials that fill the classrooms of todayís universities? Consider the following important characteristics. Millenials have been deeply affected by the intersection between technology and globalism. Todayís students have grown up in a world less affected by geographical boundaries, one which can be connected to and downloaded at the click of a mouse. They are technologically savvy and their personalities and behaviors have been shaped by an environment that knows no boundaries. This interconnectivity has fostered the Millenialsí belief in the importance of community and inclusivity. They do not define themselves in terms of boundaries and borders. Rather, they want to include the other as well as work within environments that are collaborative in nature.

Millenials have also grown up in an era of terrorism, heroism, patriotism, and civic engagement. Beginning with the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing to Virginia Tech, terrorism has been one of the most defining and common experiences for todayís students. For some Millenials, the threat of terrorism is a reminder of the importance of community and inclusivity. For others, it is an important reminder of the need for patriotism and heroism. Millenials have witnessed the heroism of American servicemen and servicewomen as these give their lives for their country. Regardless of how Millenials have responded to terrorism, all are civic-minded and seek not only to participate in but to contribute to civic life. Millenials exhibit a strong social conscience. Not only do they volunteer at high rates but they also expect companies to be socially and environmentally responsible. Todayís university students want to help in making their world a better place.

What types of experiences do the generational characteristics of Millenials provide us faculty for their education? I would be very interested in gauging how we, faculty, can work along side these generational characteristics to help cultivate educated men and women. Granted, not all Millenials are like this. One of the most recent Chronicle of Higher Education Review issues suggested that not all Millenials are "plugged" in or as tech savvy as one would think. But, the above does describe most of the students with whom I interact on a daily basis. How can we use the raw materials suggested above to the advantage of a great education? Your thoughts?

Prev 1 Next