Paul D. Schumaker
LAWRENCE – Paul D. Schumaker, professor of political science, received the Gene A. Budig Teaching Professorship Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas. Schumaker will hold the title of Budig Teaching Professor for the 2012-2013 academic year and will receive a $5,000 award.
The award honors an outstanding faculty member in the social or behavioral sciences who has made a profound contribution to teaching. Each department in the social and behavioral sciences may nominate one faculty member for the award.
Schumaker demonstrated his commitment to teaching by helping students analyze and appreciate diverse views in political science. He has connected with students through relevant curriculum in an engaging environment during his 40 years at KU.
The Introduction to Political Theory (POLS 301), developed by Schumaker, is now required of all undergraduates majoring in political science. Instead of the traditional organization of introductory classes focusing on ideologies, he decided the class should focus on perennial issues of political theory in order to enhance student engagement and understanding.
Schumaker has directed several dissertations and mentored many students. A number of his students have gone on to have successful law careers and become university professors.
Schumaker served as the department chair twice, dedicating the department to innovative teaching, updating the curriculum and recruiting and retaining faculty. When public administration became its own department, he helped with the transition in both political science and public administration to best serve students.
The teaching professorship was established by a gift from former Chancellor Gene Budig and his wife, Gretchen. Gene Budig was KU's chancellor from 1981 to 1994. He received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1994 and the Distinguished Service Citation in 1997. He is a KU Endowment trustee. Gretchen Budig received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 2010.
Funds for the award are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.
The Department of Political Science is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The College enrolls about two-thirds of KU students and encompasses more than 55 departments, programs, centers and the School of the Arts. Nearly half of the students at KU earn their bachelor's degrees from the College. Courses in the College cover hundreds of subjects including history, literature, chemistry, biology, art history, mathematics, anthropology, psychology, foreign language and political science.