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Restart of national search for director of Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron


Dr. John Wiencek, executive vice president and provost at The University of Akron, has announced the restart of a national search for a permanent director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis a year ago. The search is scheduled to begin in April, and it is anticipated that the position may be filled as early as January 2022 but no later than July 1, 2022.

To facilitate the search, University of Akron President Gary L. Miller asked Dr. John Green, the director emeritus, to step in as interim director. Green accepted and will serve starting on July 1 until December 31, 2021.

Dr. David Cohen, professor of political science, will conclude his one-year appointment as interim director on June 30, 2021, and continue as a fellow of the Bliss Institute and director of the Applied Politics program.

In these capacities, Cohen will continue his work restructuring the Master of Applied Politics (MAP) and related certificate programs. “I want to help train the next generation of professionals to work in the field of politics and I look forward to a successful launch of the modernized MAP and certificate degrees in the fall of 2021” said Cohen. In addition, Cohen will focus on student recruitment, advising and marketing for these unique programs, which are among the best known in the country.

“I want to thank Dr. Cohen for his excellent work guiding the Institute and especially on the applied politics curriculum,” said Green, “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him while the search is underway. It’s an exciting time for the Bliss Institute.”

The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics is 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.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or