Political Science Department votes to become School

Political Science Department votes to become School

The Department of Political Science and International Affairs has voted to change its designation from that of a department to a school beginning early next year.

The proposal to change the designation from the “Department of Political Science and International Affairs” to the “School of Government and International Affairs” will take effect starting Jan. 1, 2018.

Robin Dorff, the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said the new classification is largely the same in terms of faculty, staff and degree programs, but the broader designation will allow more collaboration across different programs.

Kerwin Swint, chair of the department, said administrators have been discussing the change for several years. He believes the school will begin to see a trend of an increasing number of students enrolling in the political science program.

“The one significant thing that is changing is the school will also include the A.L. Burruss Institute,” Swint said.

The A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service & Research provides data and research services to governmental agencies and non-profit organizations to help them make informed decisions.

Swint also said the new School of Government and International Affairs will focus on adding more internships to its programs.

“One big thing we put a lot of focus on since I’ve been chair is increasing our internships,” Swint said. “We have done that largely through the state legislature in Georgia, and also through contacts with the lobbyists in the state, lawyers and alumnus of KSU and campaign internships.”

The biggest development the school is working on for the coming semester is a Washington D.C.-based internship. Swint said the department is working with the President’s office to send 12 KSU students a year to Washington to complete internships with legislatures and government agencies.

He hopes these changes will increase the number of students registering for internships in each semester.

All students, faculty and staff of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are encouraged to attend the department’s open forum on Oct. 12 to discuss the new changes, provide comment and ask questions about the proposal.

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