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New professor ready to share passion for political science

October 1, 2014
By cnp
Posted in Political Science

Growing up in Washington, D.C., it was probably inevitable that Dr. Mark Scully would develop an interest in politics. That interest has evolved into a passion.

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Dr. Mark Scully, a new assistant professor of political science at Ozarks, has conducted considerable research on the connection between the American president and political parties.

Dr. Scully is a new assistant professor of political science at University of the Ozarks. He arrived on campus in July, fresh off of completing his Ph.D. from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Dr. Scully has a particular scholarly passion for examining the connection between the American president and political parties. His dissertation at Baylor was titled, "The Path to Party Unity: Popular Presidential Leadership and Principled Consensus."

"I’ve always found it very interesting how political parties can take different viewpoints and motivations and channel it into a shared effort," Dr. Scully said. "I find it fascinating to look at how political institutions affect the behavior of people in politics. The role that the president plays in political parties and helping to create a whole out of the different parts is significant."

Dr. Scully received a B.A. in philosophy from St. John’s College, a small liberal arts college in New Mexico. He understands the importance of political science within a liberal arts education.

"A liberal arts education helps us think about what it means to be a member of your community, and how to live well within your community," Dr. Scully said. "That includes questions such as, how to rule others and how to be ruled. Those are the types of things that are at the heart of political science."

He often tries to engage students’ interests in class by exploring a problem.

"Whether it’s a current debate or ancient political philosophy, the study of political science is animated by fundamental problems. Thinking about those problems provides insight about who we are," he said. "For instance, we might look at the Declaration of Independence and ask, is America dedicated to democracy or the rights and liberties of individuals? Those are the types of problems that can lead to great discussion and ultimately to knowledge."

Dr. Scully’s research includes American political institutions like the presidency and political parties, as well as constitutional law and American political thought.

Dr. Scully, his wife Angela, and their young children enjoy exploring the Ozark Mountains in their free time.