The University of Dallas Politics Department is in the process of hiring a new tenure-track professor for the Fall 2012 semester. The hiring will be one of many, since several academic departments at UD are seeking to fill new faculty positions.
According to Politics Chairman Dr. Richard Dougherty, the politics department is seeking a candidate with expertise in either political philosophy or American politics, but preferably both.
“Because we needed to cover a number of areas in the curriculum, we put out a broad advertisement for the position,” said Dougherty. In addition, Dougherty noted that the University of Dallas’ unique status as a liberal arts college with graduate programs and a national reputation for political philosophy attracted nearly 90 applicants, most of whom had pursued significant studies in political philosophy and American politics.
The Politics Department, however, recently narrowed the list of candidates to three. The finalists were invited to visit campus and to give a public lecture to provide an opportunity for students and faculty at the University of Dallas to meet each candidate in person.
Dr. David Levy, the first candidate to visit campus, gave a lecture titled “Thucydides and Socrates on Pericles: The Use and Abuse of Reason in Politics” last Wednesday.
On Monday, Dr. Joshua Bandoch gave a lecture titled “Reassessing Montesquieu’s Liberalism: Religious Intolerance in Of the Spirit of the Laws.” Finally, this Friday, Dr. Daniel Burns will present his lecture regarding St. Augustine and the free choice of the will. All of the lectures will be held in Braniff 232 from 4 to 5 p.m.
The final decision for the politics department position will be made within the next few weeks. Other academic departments at UD have undergone a similar process, with the classics and Spanish departments interviewing candidates earlier this month.
Dougherty said that each department must undergo a similar procedure in order to hire a new professor, a process that requires the identification of the need for a new faculty member and the approval of the university administration.
“When you hire a new professor, it is usually for that professor’s career,” said Dougherty. “If you consider this to be for about 30 years, you have to be prepared for that kind of commitment.”
Finally, Dougherty encouraged all students, graduate and undergraduate, to participate in the hiring process by attending the candidate lectures and getting to know potential faculty members.
“In the end, the University of Dallas puts emphasis on teaching and in the classroom,” said Dougherty, “so we encourage all students to attend and to give feedback on the candidates to the current faculty.