Maxwell School names Andersen as new Chapple Family Professor

Dean Mitchel Wallerstein has announced that longtime faculty member Kristi Andersen will become the next Chapple Family Professor of Citizenship and Democracy in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in January 2011. She will succeed Robert McClure, who was appointed as the inaugural Chapple Professor in 2006 when John H. Chapple, an alumnus of the School and the current chair of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, established and endowed the professorship.

The principal duty of the Chapple Family Professor is to carry on the long tradition of the Maxwell School of encouraging undergraduates to learn and think about their roles as citizens in a democracy. To that end, Andersen will teach in, and provide leadership for, the school’s two interdisciplinary, team-taught, undergraduate citizenship courses: “Critical Issues in the United States” and “Global Communities,” which are known as the MAX Courses.

“Given her many years of leadership in the Department of Political Science, her scholarly accomplishments and her outstanding record as a teacher, Professor Andersen richly deserves this recognition,” says Wallerstein. “She is clearly the best qualified person to take over the leadership of the MAX Courses when Professor Bob McClure steps down and begins a phased retirement.

“Bob McClure has given extraordinary service to the Maxwell School and to generations of its students as a teacher and as the longtime senior associate dean over his highly distinguished 40-plus-year career. He will be named Chapple Family Professor Emeritus upon his retirement.”

Andersen joined the Maxwell School’s political science department in 1984; her research focuses on American politics and political parties, women and politics, public opinion and immigration. She was named a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor in 2002 and a Maxwell Professor of Teaching Excellence in 2003. She has taught in the MAX Courses since 2007.

Kristi Andersen’s book “After Suffrage: Women in Partisan and Electoral Politics Before the New Deal” (University of Chicago Press, 1996) won the Victoria Schuck Award from the American Political Science Association. Her earlier book, “The Creation of a Democratic Majority, 1928-1936” (University of Chicago Press, 1979), has been influential in shaping political scientists' thinking about New Deal realignment. She is active in her community: She has been a member of the Cazenovia Town Board since 2005, serves as a board member of the Cazenovia Area Community Development Association, and is president of the board of trustees of the Cazenovia Public Library. She is also a regular panelist on WCNY-TV’s weekly news talk show, “The Ivory Tower Half Hour.”

“The Maxwell courses reflect two of the most important characteristics of the Maxwell School: They bring a cross-disciplinary approach to questions of public policy and citizenship,” observes Andersen. “I have wholeheartedly enjoyed working with colleagues from across the school in the MAX Courses over the years, as we work to provide undergraduate students with the tools they need to be engaged, informed and critically thinking citizens. I am honored to take on the responsibilities of overseeing these courses from Bob McClure, who has done a stellar job, and look forward to continuing his work.”

“Kristi is the perfect occupant of the Chapple Professorship," says McClure. "She is an innovative and accomplished teacher, a nationally recognized scholar, a citizen-leader of the Maxwell School community, as well as an elected public voice in the larger metropolitan community. And on top of all that, she knows the Maxwell signature courses inside and out from her many years of teaching in them. I have the utmost confidence that the Maxwell courses—with her energy and intellect—will get a shot of new energy and sophistication that will serve our students, the Maxwell School and the University extraordinarily well. I could not be more confident and pleased about the future of Maxwell’s signature citizenship courses.”