Play politics with the pundits


Editor’s note: Please direct questions about the course to Dr. John Green at 330-972-5182 (office), 330-329-7057 (mobile) or

The presidential election is right around the corner, and until then, Ohio voters will face a constant barrage of campaign messages. Television and radio ads, social media messages, telemarketer calls, heated discussions with friends, family and co-workers … How can voters make better sense of these pervasive political campaign claims and counterclaims?
Nationally renowned political analysts and strategists will share their insights and "tool kits" with students, as part of an open-to-the-public course at The University of Akron. The 14-week evening course, "Campaign Battleground," will focus on the 2012 presidential campaign, investigating the strategy, tactics and conduct of the top political contenders. Taking a "real time" approach, the instructors will track developments week-by-week as the candidates' campaigns unfold.  
John Green, Ph.D., often-quoted political analyst, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and distinguished professor of political science in UA's Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, will teach the course with Gerald J. Austin, Democratic political strategist and adviser, and Mark Weaver, Republican political consultant and election attorney. Austin and Weaver are the Distinguished Chairs of Applied Politics (DCAP) for 2012 in the Bliss Institute.

DCAPs are experienced political leaders selected annually to enrich UA's applied politics curriculum through lectures, small group meetings, faculty consultations and public events. In keeping with the bipartisan nature of the Bliss Institute, each academic year one DCAP is a Democrat and the other a Republican. The DCAPs are compensated through Bliss Institute endowment funds.
The course fee is $50 for the 14-week session. Class meets on Thursdays from 5:20 to 7:50 p.m. beginning Aug. 30 and continuing through Nov. 29. For an additional fee, participating students will have the opportunity to attend the Republican or Democratic National Conventions.
For more information or to register, call 330-972-7577, e-mail or visit the Bliss Institute online.

About The University of Akron

The University of Akron offers more than 300 associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate and law degree programs – with accreditations by 35 professional agencies. With nearly 30,000 students and $46.7 million in sponsored research awards, UA is among the nation's strongest public universities focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in community and economic growth. Listed by Princeton Review as among the “Best in the Midwest” in Best Colleges: Region-by-Region, programs are targeted to diverse groups of learners, including full-time, part-time and online students, veterans and adults returning to the classroom. The distinctive Akron Experience enhances postgraduate success through internships and co-ops, academic research (both undergraduate and graduate), study abroad, on-campus student employment and service projects.

Media contact: Sarah Lane, 330-972-7429 or