Maxine Berman given 3-year extension as Griffin Endowed Chair

Maxine Berman, Griffin Endowed Chair, has had her three-year term extended for another year in order to line up the terms of the Endowed Chair with the presidential election cycle.

“This is the perfect opportunity to make that change,” said David Jesuit, a professor of political science involved in the selection process for the chair position.

The Griffin Endowed Chair, selected by the political science department, is an expert with experience in politics and government who teaches two classes per year and organizes two Griffin forums each year on topics related to politics and government.

“When the program was begun, they were not looking for people from academia,” Berman said. “They wanted people with hands-on experience in politics or government. They can bring out a wealth of experience."

Jesuit said the committee responsible for selecting the next chair began their search late this year and realized it may be difficult for them to find candidates able to commit to the position, because of the election.

“From now on, each chair will be there during a gubernatorial and a presidential election,” Jesuit said. “It seems to make a lot of sense.”

Berman is the fourth chair since the program was started in 2000. Her initial term began in August 2009 and will now run through April 2013.

“I certainly enjoy doing this, but I had just assumed it would be over in April,” Berman said.

Berman teaches a class on issues related to political campaigns each fall and a class on the legislative process and issues in the spring.

She said she tries to bring speakers into her classes every week.

“The goal is to see real-life people, not just talk to students about the topics,” Berman said.

“We are very excited to have her back for one more year,” Jesuit said. “Students have been very positive in their feedback and Berman has done a very commendable job.”


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