Executive Summary of the Review of the Political Science Department
The Political Science Department was reviewed in 2016 by two external reviewers (Professor, Political Science, and Associate Professor, Politics) and one internal reviewer from another discipline. Together, they looked at a number of significant factors related to the department, including learning outcomes, syllabi, enrolment numbers, student surveys, and facilities and infrastructure. They met with members of the department, a number of students, the Dean, the Acting Vice President‐Academic, the Registrar, and the Directors of Research, Teaching and Learning, Faculty Mentoring, and the Library. Their review was thorough.
The reviewers were impressed with the public profile and scholarship of the faculty, their commitment to teaching, and the depth of experience of sessional instructors. The report also highlighted the political theory focus of the courses, which fits well with the department’s core competency of faculty’s expertise and what they describe as the role of political science within a Reformed liberal arts institution.
Several recommendations were made that would: strengthen communication to students regarding the relevance of political theory to our contemporary society; actively signal these connections through syllabi and learning community events; and use the new Core to introduce students to political science.
The reviewers also evaluated the institution’s plan to integrate Political Science with the History and International Studies program; they were in the unique position of reviewing the past seven years as well as looking into the future of the merged departments. They recommended that the merger proceed.
The department’s response to these recommendations was positive. Faculty are eager to see the departments integrated and are looking forward to reshaping individual courses to build on and enhance the department’s strengths.