Government department changes name to political science

by Dennis Brown

The name of the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame has been changed to political science, effective at the beginning of the 2002-03 academic year.p. The change, which was adopted Jan. 17 by the University’s Academic Council at the recommendation of the political science faculty, was made to conform the department with the most widely accepted name for its field of study and to more accurately reflect the subject matter.p. The department has a long history of name changes. It began in 1925 as the Department of Economics and Politics, then split in 1935 to become the Department of Politics, and, another decade later, changed again to the Department of Political Science. The migration to Notre Dame of European scholars such as Waldemar Gurian and Gerhart Niemeyer, who fled first from Nazism and then from communism in their native lands, led to increased interest in world affairs and an eventual change in the department’s name in 1964 to government and international studies.p. With some 600 undergraduates, the newly christened political science department is the largest major at Notre Dame. It also enrolls about 80 master’s and doctoral students.p. More than 40 faculty members teach in four primary sub-fields: American government, international relations, comparative politics and political theory.p. More than half of the faculty also conduct research and are fellows in Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies and/or Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.p. Notable alumni of the department include Condoleezza Rice, the current national security advisor; Richard V. Allen, the national security advisor in the Reagan administration; U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind.; and Chicago Tribune public editor N. Donald Wycliff.

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