Chancellor recognizes Altschuler for excellence in scholarship

Bruce AltschulerThe author of four books and a widely interviewed expert on the presidency, polling and American politics, SUNY Oswego Professor Bruce Altschuler is the recipient of a 2007 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activity.

He has been a member of Oswego’s political science faculty since 1976.

“Taken together, his body of scholar work is focused, mature and important in the contributions it has made to political science,” wrote Robert Spitzer in support of Altschuler’s nomination for the award. Spitzer is a distinguished professor of political science at SUNY Cortland who also specializes in the presidency and public opinion.

Altschuler’s first book, “Keeping a Finger on the Public Pulse: Private Polling and Presidential Elections,” “established him early on as a leading, innovative scholar of polling and the American presidency,” said Steven Rosow, chair of the political science department, who nominated Altschuler for the award.

Spitzer called Altschuler’s “LBJ and the Polls” “an often-cited, trail-blazing work on the vital link between presidential governance and polling.”

Altschuler turned to state politics for his third book, “Running in Place,” chronicling his colleague Bill Scheuerman’s campaign for state assemblyman. Spitzer wrote of this work, “While there are many books that provide a snapshot of a legislative race, this one was extremely well written, engaging, and pedagogically insightful. My students enjoyed reading it, and it was a pleasure to teach.”

Altschuler’s textbook on American law, coauthored with Celia Sgroi of SUNY Oswego’s public justice department, is widely used in college classrooms in the United States and Britain. “Understanding Law in a Changing Society” is now in its third edition.

In addition, his 16 scholarly articles appeared in such important journals as American Review of Politics and White House Studies. The most recent appeared in December in Presidential Studies Quarterly.

In demand with the media, he has been a political analyst for public radio station WRVO since 1984 and is a regular commentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Wisconsin Public Radio, among other news organizations. For his work with WRVO, he has received a Syracuse Press Club award for best radio public affairs program and a New York State Associated Press award for best local radio documentary.

Two years ago he received the SUNY Research Foundation award recognizing exemplary research and scholarship by State University faculty members, and in 1992 he received the SUNY Oswego President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity and Research.

In addition to his scholarly work and public commentary, he has served the college as chair of the political science department for 12 years, chair of the public justice department for three years and a long-time officer with United University Professions.

Altschuler was educated at City University of New York, following service with the U.S. Army in Vietnam and West Germany. He earned his doctorate in 1980, writing his dissertation on “Political Polling and Presidential Elections.” He was a National Science Foundation fellow from 1972 to 1975 and a CUNY fellow in 1971-72.

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(Posted: Apr 18, 2007)