The political science department is often asked to sponsor co-curricular events. Sponsorship does not imply endorsement of the ideas of a speaker or the topic being discussed. Instead, it means that one or more members of the department believe that the event is of pedagogical value to students who are political science majors. The primary purpose of sponsorship is to alert our students to the event. In some cases, the department provides funding to support the event.
Requests for sponsorship can be made to the department chair by individual department faculty, by non-department faculty or staff, or on behalf of departments, programs, or centers. Events proposed by political science department members are automatically granted sponsorship by the chair, with no discussion among our colleagues. This ensures fairness, collegiality, and academic freedom. Because not every individual member of the department may agree about the pedagogical value of each speaker, such events are listed as sponsored by the “Department of Political Science at the request of Professor X.” If there are questions about an event sponsored through this path, they can be addressed directly to the faculty member who initiated the invitation. Events proposed by non-political science department entities are granted sponsorship if they are deemed by the chair to be of interest to a significant portion of our majors. There is no consultation with department faculty in these decisions, and such events are listed as sponsored by the “Department of Political Science.” We do not sponsor student-initiated events, as students have separate sources of funds and other means for advertising to their peers.