Department of Communication News

Althaus Named Charles J. and Ethel S. Merriam Professor in Political Science

3/16/2015  8:00 am


On Tuesday, February 17, a ceremony was held for the investiture of Professor Scott L. Althaus as the Charles J. and Ethel S. Merriam Professor in Political Science. Prof. Althaus joined the University of Illinois in 1996 and holds a joint appointment in the departments of Political Science and Communication. He is also Director of the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois.

His research and teaching interests explore the communication processes that support political accountability in democratic societies and that empower political discontent in non-democratic societies. Prof. Althaus’ interests focus on (1) how journalists construct news coverage about public affairs, (2) how leaders attempt to shape news coverage for political advantage, (3) how citizens use news coverage for making sense of public affairs, and (4) how the opinions of citizens are communicated to leaders through collective preferences, such as the results of opinion polls, and through collective behaviors, such as civil unrest.

Prof. Althaus has published more than two-dozen scholarly articles, and he serves on the editorial boards of leading journals in the disciplines of communication and political science. He was named a 2014-15 Faculty Fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC, a 2004-5 Beckman Associate by the UIUC Center for Advanced Studies, and a 2003-4 Helen Corley Petit Scholar by the UIUC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was honored with a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIUC, and his undergraduate and graduate courses regularly appear on the university’s “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.”

Congratulations to Prof. Althaus on this outstanding achievement!