“Our department has two fundamental guiding principles: the study of political philosophy and the study of American founding principles,” said Richard Dougherty, MA ’89 PhD ’93, associate professor of politics and director of the politics graduate program. “We think that these two things are intrinsically connected. In order to fully understand the political order we live in, it is necessary to study the philosophical principles that underlie that order and that we don’t necessarily see articulated in our foundational documents.”
It is this emphasis on American political development combined with the quality of faculty and the rigor of the University of Dallas’ politics doctoral program that led the U.S. Department of Education to award UD a $250,405 grant for stipend support for politics doctoral students through its Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program (GAANN).
“This is the largest federal grant for stipend support for politics doctoral students in the university’s history,” said Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts Dean Joshua Parens, Ph.D. “The GAANN grant will make it possible for graduate students to focus on excellence in their studies and preparing themselves for careers in teaching and research.”
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, politics doctoral students with excellent academic records and financial need will be eligible for GAANN fellowships to support their living expenses while they pursue their studies. Dougherty is particularly excited that these stipends will also be available to doctoral students who have completed their coursework and are working on their dissertations. The grant is guaranteed for one year. The university will continue to reapply as federal funding is available.
“This grant will allow some of our advanced students to more readily complete their degrees and get placed in a job where they want to be,” said Dougherty.
The federal program emphasizes supporting students who are planning careers in either teaching or research. As such, the stipend will contain a classroom experience component in which recipients will be mentored by Politics Department faculty and involved in teaching politics Core curriculum courses.
Dougherty sees a national need for politics professors who have a thorough grounding in the principles and documents of the American founding.
“Fewer and fewer politics programs are paying attention to the formative documents of our political order,” said Dougherty.
Other areas of national need identified by the federal government include engineering, computer science and education. UD joins previous GAANN recipients including the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago and Duke University.