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The PoliSci Newsletter

2016 Idaho Filibuster Sessions

The 2016 Idaho Filibuster Sessions are informal, fortnightly meetups to discuss the latest happenings at the Idaho Legislature, hosted by The Blue Review, the Boise State School of Public Service, and the Boise State Political Science Department. The third Filibuster Session on Wednesday, February 17th, presented the opportunity to discuss a recent survey conducted by the new School of Public Service. Read the full articles about the Public Policy Survey and Filibuster Session.

Original Sources: The Blue Review – 2/15/16, Public Policy Survey

School of Public Service Launches Scholarship for State Legislative Interns

Twenty-two undergraduate and graduate students Photo of Legislative Internsare currently interning at the state capitol. This year ten students each were awarded a $750 scholarship – completely covering the cost of their internship. The School of Public Service Legislative Intern Scholarship is for full-time (12 UGRD credits) students who are juniors, seniors, or graduate and participate in an internship at the Idaho State Legislature and who enroll in at least 3 internship credits through the Political Science Department. The next deadline for applying is March 15. To find out more about the School of Public Service Legislative Internship click here. To check out other Political Science internships click here.

Original Source: Read about Legislative Interns in the Update – 2/18/16

Touchton’s visit to Indonesia

Michael Touchton presented his article titled “Trapping the Tigers: Regulation of Market Entry and the Rule of Law in SE Asia” at Indonesia’s Ministry of Development and Planning in Jakarta, Indonesia. His article explores the regulation of entry into the formal marketplace and local investment in southeast Asia. Touchton then participated in workshops designed to remove some of these barriers to market entry across the country. Read Michael Touchton’s full article here.

Original Sources: The Update – 2/16/16

Passing of Former Boise State President, Dr. John Keiser

“Good morning,

I am sad to report that Dr. John Keiser, who served as Black and white photo of John Keiserthe president of Boise State University from 1978 to 1991, passed away this week.

His tenure as president was a vibrant time on campus that saw the construction of the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts and the athletics and entertainment facility now known as Taco Bell Arena, the creation of the Frank Church Chair of Public Affairs, the affiliation of Boise State’s radio station with National Public Radio, and the installation of the Blue Turf.

Boise State’s two Rhodes Scholars, filmmaker Michael Hoffman and financial industry leader Karl Knapp, both attended during Dr. Keiser’s time as president.

Dr. Keiser’s mantra — “There is no great city without a great university” — is still a guiding force at Boise State University today.

He was an extensively published historian, with a focus on the state of Illinois (where he grew up, the son and grandson of teachers) and a passion for public affairs. He embraced a statewide public affairs mission both here at Boise State and later at Missouri State University, where he served as president from 1993 until his retirement in 2005.

Dr. Keiser also served as Provost of then Sangamon State University, now the University of Illinois at Springfield, during the time I served as a faculty member there. I remember calling John when I was a candidate for the Boise State Presidency to ask for his advice. His passion and love for Boise and Boise State came through loud and clear when he told me in no uncertain terms to take the job if offered. That was the best career advice I ever received, so it was a special moment when we could honor him shortly after I arrived with his name on Keiser Hall.

Dr. Keiser majored in social science with a minor in French at Eastern Illinois University, and earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in history at Northwestern University. He and his wife, Nancy, returned upon his retirement to Boise, where he had once been named Citizen of the Year.

He was a vital part of the story of both Boise State University and the city of Boise, and he will be missed. I know I speak for all of as at Boise State when I offer Nancy and their three sons our deepest condolences.

Boise State political science students involved in community service benefit from a scholarship in his name. If you wish to honor Dr. Keiser here on campus, you may contribute to the Dr. John Keiser Public Affairs Scholarship or the John & Nancy Keiser Athletic Endowed Scholarship. You can give online at or by sending a check payable to the Boise State Foundation.

Warm regards,
Bob Kustra”

Original Sources: Quoted from Bob Kustra, 1/22/16, KTVB, 1/21/16

Vaughn Comment’s on Otter’s State of the State Address

Justin Vaughn’s article titled “Otter Resolute in Policy Talk, Less Optimistic than Usual” was published by The Blue Review. In the article Vaughn discusses Otter’s annual State of the State Address that was held Monday, January 11th. During the speech Governor Otter laid out his policy priorities. Read Justin Vaughn’s full article here.

Original Sources: The Blue Review – 1/18/2016

Wampler and Touchton’s Article on Brazil’s City Budgets Resurfaces

Brian Wampler and Michael Touchton co-wrote a piece for The Washington Post in 2014 about the benefits of democratizing city budgets in Brazil. The article, “Brazil let its citizens make decisions about city budgets. Here’s what happened.”, focuses on the benefits of “participatory institutions”. Their article caught the attention of two Brazilian newspapers and Brazil’s presidential office, and has received praise from The Chronicles of Higher Education.

Sources: Brian Wampler, The Update – 1/11/16The Washington Post – 1/22/14, The Chronicles of Higher Education – 1/10/16

Touchton Comments on Election Investments

Mike Touchton authored an article in the Washington Post titled “Free and fair elections attract investment, no matter who’s elected. Here’s why”. In his article he takes a look at two “illiberal” democracies that recently held relatively free and fair elections, Argentina and Venezuela, and provides theories as to why. Read Mike Touchton’s full article here.

Original Sources: The Update – 1/11/16, The Washington Post – 1/8/16

Brian Wampler’s Speaking Spree

Brain Wampler gave three talks during the first week of December. Photo of Brian WamplerThe first was to the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency at its annual Stewards meeting in Washington, D.C., the second was to the Arizona State University’s School of Public Service, and the third was for a conference that focused on participatory democracy, civic engagement and citizenship education that was hosted by ASU. Read more about Brain Wampler’s talks here.

Original Source: The Update – 12/9/2015

Scott Yenor’s Take on Recent Student Protests

Scott Yenor’s article titled “A Professor’s Take: College Student Protests Echo 1960s Protests” was published by The Daily Signal’s Education/Commentary feed. In his article he discusses recent student protests, specifically those of University of Missouri and Yale. Read Scott Yenor’s full article here.

Original Source: The Daily Signal – 11/17/2015

Scott Yenor’s Article on Marriage

Scott Yenor’s article titled “Toward Plural Marriage: Understanding and Countering the Liberal Wringer” was published by The Witherspoon Institute’s “Public Discourse” feed. In his article he addresses the biases and moral teaching within the contemporary liberal perspective in regards to marriage and family life. Read the full article at the The Witherspoon Institute’s “Public Discourse” .

Original Source: The Witherspoon Institute – 12/7/2015