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The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics

A bipartisan research, teaching and experiential learning institute dedicated to increasing understanding of the political process with special emphasis on political parties, grassroots activity, civility and ethics, and hands-on learning through internships and events.

Fall 2021 Events

  • October 7, 7 p.m.: Pulizer Prize Winning Author George Will (virtual)| Registration
  • November 4 - 5: State of the Parties Virtual Conference | See details

See past events

Job Search:
Director, Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics

The University of Akron’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, in cooperation with the Department of Political Science, is seeking applicants for the position of Director. This 12-month position, starting as early as January 2022 but no later than July 1, 2022, includes an appointment as a tenured Professor or Associate Professor of Political Science.

 The successful candidate will oversee the activities of the Bliss Institute, including managing its budget, supervising its full-time and part-time staff, coordinating research projects (including polling activities), administering its extensive internship program, and hosting conferences. The Director will be a faculty member of the Department of Political Science with teaching responsibilities and will be responsible for administering the Institute’s academic programs, including the Master of Applied Politics [MAP] degree program and the Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate in Applied Politics. Further responsibilities include liaising with university, local, state, and national officials, engaging with the media, and promoting the overall mission of the Institute.

Candidate Qualifications:

The successful candidate must be a highly experienced scholar with a Ph.D. in Political Science or a closely related field, with a record of publications in peer-reviewed journals and/or academic presses; have a record of teaching at the university level; and have a strong record of administrative experience. It is desirable for the candidate to have a competency in research methods with a demonstrable interest in applied politics at the state and/or national levels; experience in public policy, especially at the state and local levels; and previous experience in hosting conferences in an academic and/or governmental setting.

Application Instructions:

To apply for this position (Job ID 12850), you must complete the online application and attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a list of three (3) professional references to your profile. Please include contact information, including email addresses, for your professional references. After submission of your application, return to the "My Activities" link and upload the required documents under the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section.

Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with reference to the minimum and preferred qualifications. This is the information on which the initial review of materials will be based. A resume will not be accepted in place of any information requested on the application. Inquiries about the position can be sent to Dr. James T. McHugh at: For assistance with your application or attachments please call Hannah Kemp-Severence in Human Resources at 330-972-8399. 

Open until filled, however, initial review of applications will begin on October 1, 2021. 

For students







Expert resources

Faculty who are part of the Bliss Institute


Research at the Bliss Institute


The Greater Akron Civility Center

Setting standards, providing resources, and working to create a culture of civility in the Greater Akron community.
Learn more

Bliss Institute in the News

Should party label appear on judicial ballots? Ohio Senate passes bill to make higher court races partisan

Dr. John Green is interviewed as part of this story about a bill that would include the party affiliation of candidates for the state supreme court and appellate courts on voting ballots.

What does Rep. Anthony Gonzalez's decision to step down mean for the GOP's future?

Dr. David Cohen is interviewed about U.S. House Representative Anthony Gonzalez and his decision to not run for reelection in 2022.

State of the Parties:
2020 and Beyond
Virtual Conference

November 4 - 5, 2021

The 2020 presidential election was extraordinary: waged under pandemic conditions, it produced a dramatic increase in voter turnout, many close contests, and a tenuous one-party control of the federal government.

What role did political parties play in these events? How did the party organizations fare? What are the implications for the future?

Scholars and practitioners from throughout the United States will explore the state of American party organizations, constituencies and resources at the national, state and local level.

See details

Why Study Applied Politics?

Alumnus Jason Huff (MA '04), Senior Policy Advisor to the Tennessee House Democratic Causcus, discusses his career path and shares advice for students.

Learn more

Why Take an Internship?

Graduate Student Kevin Cohen shares his internship experience with the Tim Ryan for Congress Campaign.


Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics
The University of Akron
Olin Hall 325 (see campus map)
Akron, OH 44325-1914

Office: 330-972-5182
Fax: 330-972-5479

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