Department of Political Science Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Department of Political Science Collection

Record Series: 12/05/01

Creator: Department of Political Science

Date: 1972-2017

Extent: 4 boxes (2.29 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives at Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Access and Use

Accessing the Collection:

Most materials are open for research. Materials related to the confidentiality of personnel, student, medical, and other legally protected records are CLOSED to researchers for 70 years from the date of creation. Consult the archivist with any questions or concerns.

Related Archival Materials:

Related archival materials can be found in 03/06 at Special Collections & University Archives at Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the Department of Political Science Collection, 1972-2017, Record Series 12/05/01, [folder number or title when applicable], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

  • Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access.

  • Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.

Historical Note

The study of political science has existed at the University of Northern Iowa in some form since c. 1894, when the History and Geography Department was reorganized and divided into four departments: history, civics, geography, and political science. A shift occurred two years later, with the Political Science Department merging into the History and Political Science Department, which existed until 1909 before changing its name to the History and Politics Department. In the ensuing years, "politics" and "political science" were dropped altogether with the formation of the Government Department (1910) and the Government and Economics Department (1921). Following another administrative organizational overhaul in 1922, political science courses became part of the Social Science Department. After the school's university status designation, its courses and departments were restructured. The Department of Political Science was created in 1969 and has existed ever since. Originally under the College of Business and Behavioral Sciences, the department has been part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences since 1980.

The Department of Political Science offers a variety of courses ranging from American politics and comparative politics, to international relations and political theory. Additionally, it offers two specific undergraduate degree programs. Please visit the department website for more information.


  • Series 1: Administrative Records

  • Series 2: Programs & Ephemera

  • Series 3: Department Files

  • Series 4: Publications

Scope and Content

The Department of Political Science Collection reflects the operation of the department and is arranged into four series. The Administrative Records series is broken up into two categories. The first is comprised of department minutes which include topics such as graduate students; curriculum and courses; committee work; the department's budgets; promotions and tenure; department events; faculty hirings; and departmental student employees. A majority of the minutes are typed, with some containing handwritten annotations. Also included are a few handwritten notes from assorted department meetings. These materials span 1973-1993 and are arranged chronologically by academic year.

The second grouping in the Administrative Records series consists of the department's General Correspondence & Documents, ranging from 1985 to 1993. A variety of topics are covered including discussions of courses and curriculum requirements; salary and financial information; administrative and strategic goals for the broader College of Social & Behavioral Sciences; notes from Department Head meetings; reports; a few minutes from the CSBS faculty senate meetings; and schedules/itineraries from the interview process for potential hires. These materials are arranged chronologically by academic year.

The second series, Programs & Ephemera, 1969-2017, includes brochures, fliers, memoranda, and announcements for various meetings and lectures either sponsored or co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science. The lectures featured both regional and national speakers, such as Iowa governor Terry Branstad, Sargent Shriver, and Walter Mondale. Also included is information about the Iowa Consortium for the Social Studies and announcements regarding department faculty position openings. These materials are arranged chronologically.

The Department Files series is arranged alphabetically by subject. Subjects of note include the George Robinson Lecture Series (UNI's first endowed lectureship); the Erma Plaehn Memorial Fund; and the Public Administration files, which document the creation of that program. Please refer to the inventory for the full list of subjects.

The Publications series consists of issues of the department newsletter and dates from 1992-1993; and 2005-2017.


Box 1

  • Folder 1: Department Minutes, 1973-1974 [Series 1]

  • Folder 2: Department Minutes, 1974-1975 [Series 1]

  • Folder 3: Department Minutes, 1976-1977 [Series 1]

  • Folder 4: Department Minutes, 1980-1981; 1985 [Series 1]

  • Folder 5: Department Minutes, 1987-1988 [Series 1]

  • Folder 6: Department Minutes, 1988-1989 [Series 1]

  • Folder 7: Department Minutes, 1989-1990 [Series 1]

  • Folder 8: Department Minutes, 1991 [Series 1]

  • Folder 9: Department Minutes, 1991-1992 [Series 1]

  • Folder 10: Department Minutes, 1992-1993 [Series 1]

  • Folder 11: General Correspondence & Documents, 1982; March 1985-October 1985 [Series 1]

  • Folder 12: General Correspondence & Documents, October 1985-December 1985 [Series 1]

  • Folder 13: General Correspondence & Documents, 1987-1988 [Series 1]

  • Folder 14: General Correspondence & Documents, 1988-1989 [Series 1]

  • Folder 15: General Correspondence & Documents, 1989-1990 [Series 1]

  • Folder 16: General Correspondence & Documents, 1990-1990 [Series 1]

Box 2

  • Folder 1: General Correspondence & Documents, 1991-1992 [Series 1]

  • Folder 2: General Correspondence & Documents, 1992-1993; undated [Series 1]

  • Folder 3: Programs & Ephemera, 1969-1975 [Series 2]

  • Folder 4: Programs & Ephemera, 1976-1983 [Series 2]

  • Folder 5: Programs & Ephemera, 1984-1987; 1990-1999 [Series 2]

  • Folder 6: Programs & Ephemera, 2002-2017 [Series 2]

  • Folder 7: Programs & Ephemera, undated [Series 2]

  • Folder 8: Department Files - Black Hawk County Bar Association Scholarship, 1986 [Series 3]

  • Folder 9: Department Files - Budget Needs, 1987-1988 [Series 3]

  • Folder 10: Department Files - Community Outreach Partnership Center, June 1999 [Series 3]

  • Folder 11: Department Files - Commendation of Achievement in Political Science, 1984-1985 [Series 3]

Box 3

  • Folder 1: Department Files - 94:150g Content Analysis Project [Series 3]

  • Folder 2: Department Files - 94:150g Content Analysis Project [Series 3]

  • Folder 3: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Advisory Board Agendas, 1976-1978 [Series 3]

  • Folder 4: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Advisory Board Members, 1974-1976 [Series 3]

  • Folder 5: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Book Collection [Series 3]

  • Folder 6: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Committee, 1974-1976 [Series 3]

  • Folder 7: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Committee, 1977-1980 [Series 3]

  • Folder 8: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Memorial Fund, Account Correspondence, 1982-1991 [Series 3]

  • Folder 9: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Memorial Fund Account Embezzlement, 1991 [Series 3]

  • Folder 10: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Memorial Fund Account, Statements of Account, 1978-1986; 1990-1991 [Series 3]

  • Folder 11: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Memorial Fund, Contribution Correspondence [Series 3]

  • Folder 12: Department Files - Erma Plaehn Memorial Fund, Contributions [Series 3]

  • Folder 13: Department Files - Erma B. Plaehn Memorial Fund [Series 3]

  • Folder 14: Department Files - Erma Plaehn, Seminar Room Dedication, 1979 [Series 3]

  • Folder 15: Department Files - External Evaluation of Department, 1988-1989 [Series 3]

  • Folder 16: Department Files - Planning, 1977-1979 [Series 3]

  • Folder 17: Department Files - Planning, 1981-1984 [Series 3]

  • Folder 18: Department Files - Planning, 1985-1988 [Series 3]

  • Folder 19: Department Files - Public Administration Major, Consultation, 1980 [Series 3]

  • Folder 20: Department Files - Public Administration Major, Consultation, 1981-1982 [Series 3]

  • Folder 21: Department Files - Public Administration Major, Consultation, undated [Series 3]

  • Folder 22: Department Files - Public Administration Major, Proposal, 1976-1980 [Series 3]

  • Folder 23: Department Files - Public Administration Major, Proposal, undated [Series 3]

  • Folder 24: Department Files - Public Administration Committee, 1982-1983 [Series 3]

  • Folder 25: Department Files - Public Administration Committee, 1983-1984 [Series 3]

  • Folder 26: Department Files - Public Administration, Program Review, 1985-1986 [Series 3]

  • Folder 27: Department Files - Public Administration, Graduate Program Proposal, 1988-1989 [Series 3]

  • Folder 28: Department Files - R. Gordon Hoxie Endowed Professorship in History and Political Science (see also 12/06/01) [Series 3]

  • Folder 29: Department Files - Robinson Lecture Series, 1972-1978; 1989- [Series 3]

  • Folder 30: Department Files - Robinson Lecture Series, Planning and Introductory Lectures, 1972 [Series 3]

  • Folder 31: Department Files - Robinson Lecture Series, Receipts, 1972-1973 [Series 3]

  • Folder 32: Department Files - University of Northern Iowa Committee on Asian Studies, "Readings on Taoism" [Series 3]

  • Folder 33: Publications -- Newsletter, 1992-1993; 2005-2017 [Series 4]

Box 4: Restricted Materials

**Please note that materials in this box are restricted from their date of creation plus 70 years**

  • Folder 1: Administrative Records - General Correspondence & Documents, 1985-1991 [Series 1]

  • Folder 2: Administrative Records - Department Minutes, 1973-1992 [Series 1]

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Library Assistant Susan Witthoft, August 1996; updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, July and December 2017 and April 2018; by Research Assistant Ashley Thronson, July 2017; and by Archival Processor Tessa Wakefield, March 2019. Linear feet updated in 2017.

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