WMU News

Visiting Scholar addresses American government, politics

March 2, 1999

KALAMAZOO--How American government came to be what it is today will be the focus of the annual Sam Clark Lecture Monday, March 15, at Western Michigan University as part of the University's Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Dr. Frank R. Baumgartner, professor of political science at Texas A & M University, will address "The Evolution of American Government" in a free public lecture at 8 p.m. in Room 208 of the Bernhard Center. Commissioned by the Faculty Senate, the Sam Clark Lecture is an annual event in honor of the late Dr. Sam Clark, founder and first dean of the Lee Honors College and a longtime faculty member in the Department of Political Science.

Baumgartner is an internationally renowned specialist in policy making, institutional change and interest group representation in American politics. The author of several books, including "Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science," and "Agendas and Instability in American Politics," Baumgartner recently completed a four-year National Science Foundation project on "Policy Agendas in the United States Since 1945." Most recently he was awarded a Norwegian Science Foundation grant to support development of a graduate seminar in policy making and agenda setting.

Baumgartner will also present a "Forum on Contemporary American Politics" at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, in the Lee Honors College Lounge. The presentation will be made during a meeting with honors students and is open to the public.

Baumgartner earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. He has been a visiting scholar at universities in Washington, Michigan and Paris, France.

Baumgartner's visit is supported by WMU's Visiting Scholars and Artists Program and is being coordinated by the Institute of Government and Politics in the Department of Political Science. Baumgartner's visit is also supported by the School of Public Affairs and Administration and the Lee Honors College.

The Visiting Scholars and Artists Program was established in 1960 and has supported more than 500 visits by scholars and artists representing more than 65 academic disciplines. The chairperson of the committee that oversees the program is Dr. James M. Hillenbrand, professor of speech pathology and audiology.

For more information about Baumgartner's visit, persons should contact Dr. James M. Butterfield, associate professor of political science and director of the Institute of Government and Politics, at (616) 387-5696.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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