Skip To Main Content
Skip To Main Content

Robert Alexander

Biography: 

 

Dr. Alexander's teaching philosophy featured in National newsletter for Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science honor society: 
http://psanews.org/a-philosophy-on-teaching-dr-robert-alexander/

Read Dr. Alexander's recent op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Back to the future of a President Bush or Clinton?"

Read Dr. Alexander's op-ed for CNN, "Washington (George) got it right"

Read Dr. Alexander's op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Hillary Clinton 'wins' in the Electoral College"

Presidential Electors and the Electoral College: An Examination of Lobbying, Wavering Electors, and Campaigns for Faithless Votes
By Robert M. Alexander

Robert Alexander is a professor of political science at Ohio Northern University. He teaches a variety of undergraduate courses, including introduction to American politics, introduction to political science, state and local government, public administration, interest groups and political parties, mass political behavior, mass media and politics, film and politics, presidency, and Congress. He has been published two books examining the role of interest groups in the American political system. Additionally, his research has appeared in a number of academic journals. Dr. Alexander’s most recent project is a book examining the Electoral College. The book draws upon surveys of presidential electors he has collected with students over the past three elections. In addition to his research, he has been recognized for his teaching through numerous teaching awards. Professor Alexander is a frequent contributor to media outlets, having been interviewed in over 100 instances by print, television and radio media. He has appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC, and NPR’s Day to Day as well as being cited in newspapers from Japan, Singapore, Slovakia, and Poland.

Quote: "While President Obama's 300+ electoral votes has appeared to turn the page on this year's excruciatingly long presidential election campaign, his win belies the fact that he will be re-elected by the slimmest of margins in the popular vote. As it stands now, President Obama will likely win the popular vote by less than 1 percent of all votes cast across the country.  Of course, the national popular vote does not matter in the American system.The Electoral College system has the tendency to magnify the electoral vote margin relative to the popular vote margin. This is exactly what has happened in 2012. Pundits are speaking of a strong showing by President Obama with his 300+ electoral votes.  Yet, while the president will likely win nearly 60 percent of the electoral vote, he will earn just over 50 percent of the popular vote. Critics would charge that the president should not be overly confident in reading too much into the election results due to the distortions created by the process. Proponents would contend that the process enables the country to move forward after a long and bitter election cycle.  No doubt, the Electoral College will continue to vex many Americans and be at the center of the race for the presidency in 2016."


Areas of Expertise:
  • Elections
  • Electoral College
  • Politics

 


 

Professional Experience: 

2012  -            Professor, Ohio Northern University

2012 -             Chair, Department of History, Politics, and Justice

2012 -             Chair, Division of Social Sciences, Ohio Northern University

2005 - 2012   Associate Professor, Ohio Northern University

2002 - 2005   Assistant Professor, Ohio Northern University

2001 - 2002   Assistant Professor, Frostburg State University

2000 - 2001   Visiting Assistant Professor, Bowling Green State University

1999- 2000    Instructor, Knoxville Business College

1997- 2000    Graduate Teaching Associate, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1997- 1998    Mentor Program -- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1996- 1997    Graduate Teaching Assistant -- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1995- 1997   Graduate Assistant -- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1993- 1994   Course Assistant -- Ohio Northern University

1992- 1994    Tutor -- Ohio Northern University

 


 

Education: 

May 2000  The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Ph.D.

  • Major Field: American Government
  • Subfields:  Political Parties and Interest Groups; State and Local Government
  • Minor Fields:  Public Administration; International Relations
  • Dissertation: State Initiatives and Interest Groups:  Insights on the Activities of Interest Groups at the State Level
  • Research Tools:  Quantitative Political Analysis; Research Design; Scope and Methods; Survey Methods

1997 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Master of Arts

  • Major Field:  American Government
  • Subfield:  Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • Minor Field:  International Relations

1994 Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio

Bachelor of Arts, High Distinction

  • Major:  Political Science
  • Minor:  History

 


 

Teaching Interests: 

Courses Taught:

Introduction to American Politics
Introduction to Political Science
State and Local Government
Special Interests in American Politics
Interest Groups and Public Policy
Parties, Interest Groups and Voting Behavior
Public Administration
Mass Media and American Politics
Legislative Process
Judicial Process
American Political Thought

 

Courses Taught as a Graduate Teaching Assistant:

Introduction to American Politics
Introduction to Political Science
Popular Culture and American Politics

 

 


Awards: 

2012    Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Department Honor, Ohio Northern University

2011    Outstanding Professor (campus-wide) Greek Awards Banquet, Ohio Northern University

2011    Outstanding Chapter Award, Pi Sigma Alpha National award intended to recognize local chapters which are particularly active in their departments and exhibit high levels of energy and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society. 

2011    Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Department Honor, Ohio Northern University

2010    Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to bring Dr. Jack Shaheen to ONU’s campus to discuss racial and ethnic  
              stereotyping in film and television (Received $848.12)

2010    Grant from US-JAPAN Foundation $40,648 award to help subsidize Ohio Northern University’s US-JAPAN program.

2010    Grant from Honda of America $5,000 award to help subsidize Ohio Northern University’s US-JAPAN program.

2010    General Education Course Development Grant, College of Arts and Sciences, Ohio Northern University  $2,000 award to develop a “Transitions Course” for Ohio Northern
             University’s General Education program.

2010    Outstanding Professor (campus-wide) Greek Awards Banquet, Ohio Northern University

2009    Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to attend the Midwest Political Science Association with students (Received
              $1,000)

2009    Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Department Honor, Ohio Northern University

2009    Grant from Honda of America  $7,000 award to help subsidize Ohio Northern University’s US-JAPAN program.

2008    Outstanding Chapter Award, Pi Sigma Alpha National award intended to recognize local chapters which are particularly active in their departments and exhibit high levels of
              energy and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society.

2008    Grant from Honda of America $7,500 award to help subsidize Ohio Northern University’s US-Kasukabe program.

2008    Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to survey the 2008 Electoral College Members (Received $1,279)

2007    Kernan Robson Endowed Professorship, Department of History, Politics and Justice, Ohio Northern University

2007    Outstanding Chapter Award, Pi Sigma Alpha National award intended to recognize local chapters which are particularly active in their departments and exhibit high levels of energy
              and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society. 

2007   Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to attend the Midwest Political Science Association with students (Received $1,433)

2006   Outstanding Professor, Excellence in Education, Ohio Magazine

2006   Professor of the Month, Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, Ohio Northern University

2006   Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to attend the Midwest Political Science Association with students (Received Maximum
             Allotment -- $2,000)

2005   Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Ohio Northern University One of two professors in the College chosen by students for their excellence in the
             classroom

2004    Outstanding Chapter Award, Pi Sigma Alpha National award intended to recognize local chapters which are particularly active in their departments and exhibit high levels of energy
              and creativity in furthering the goals of the honor society. 

2005   Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to present a paper with students at the Midwest Political Science Association
            ($1,810.87)

2004    Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to “survey the 2004 Electoral College Members” (Received Full Funding -- $1,279)

2003    Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal to “survey the 2000 Electoral College Members” (Received Full Funding -- $1,222)

2002    Chapter Activity Grant, Pi Sigma Alpha, Ohio Northern University Supervision of grant proposal for "student paper competition" and compilation of student journal (Received Full
              Funding -- $375)

2001    Professor of the Year, Office of Residence Life, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio One of ten professors chosen campus-wide for their excellence in the
             classroom

2001    Professor of the Month, Kappa Delta Sorority, Bowling Green State University

2000    Selected as a First Year Studies Instructor for the Undergraduate Council on Academic Excellence, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1999     Recipient of the David Mock Award as the outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate, University of Tennessee, Political Science Department

1999     Recipient of the Inter-Fraternity Council Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

1999     University Programs and Services Fee Graduate Student Travel Fund Award

1998     Comprehensive Examination Honors in Public Administration

1997      Master of Arts Examination Honors in American Politics

1994      Walter Pengrey Rogers Award - Ohio Northern University Award presented to the outstanding student majoring in political science 

 


 

Selected Publications: 

 

“Lobbying the Electoral College: the Hunt for Faithless Electors” in Electoral College Reform: Challenges and Possibilities, Ashgate Publishing, VT.  2010.  (Invited Contributor)

“Public Advocacy and Organized Interests: The Direct Democracy Connection.”  forthcoming, Journal of Political Science, Vol. 37.  No. 5, 2009. 

“Getting the most from Pi Sigma Alpha Chapters: Lessons Learned in College—the Electoral College.” PS: Political Science and Politics.  July, 2009.

“Prospecting for War: 9/11 and the Sale of Operation Iraqi Freedom” (with Daniel Masters).  Contemporary Security Policy.  Vol. 29, No. 3. December, 2008.

“Organized Interests and Campaign Professionals: Insights from the American States.” (with Anthony Nownes). Journal of Political Marketing.  Vol. 7, No. 2. 2008. 

“Office Space as Hyper reality—Using Film as a Postmodern Critique of Bureaucracy.”  (with Steven Kochheiser).  Public Voices.  Volume 10. No. 1 2007.

“Direct Democracy and Organized Interests – Examining the Existence of a Participation Gap Among Groups.” The American Review of Politics.  Vol. 27, No. 2 Winter, 2006-2007. 

“Pinning a Face on the Electoral College: A Survey of the Class of 2000.”  (with Jason Kaseman and David Brown).  PS: Political Science and Politics. (October, 2004)

“Time to Amend the Constitution.”  Op-ed.  The Toledo Blade.  November 6th, 2004. 

"The Rehnquist Court and the Devolution of the Right to Privacy." (with Scott Johnson) 

West Virginia University Law Review, April 2003.

The Unanticipated Consequences of the State Initiative Process.  Bowling Green, OH: Center for Policy Analysis and Public Service, Bowling Green State University, April, 2002. 

“What is Making the Grass Grow? Grassroots versus Grass tops Mobilization—A Preliminary Assessment of the Role of Interest Groups in the State Initiative Process.”  Political Chronicle. Vol. 13, No.2 Fall, 2001.

"Gambling With Direct Democracy: Organized Interests and Missouri's Experience with the Boats-in-Moats Amendment."  Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies. Vol. 32, No. 1 April, 2001

"A Tale of Two Electorates: Generational Replacement and the Decline of Voting in Presidential Elections." (with Dr. William Lyons).  Journal of Politics.  Vol. 62, No. 4 November, 2000.

Chair, Department of History, Politics, and Justice; Professor of Political Science
History, Politics, and Justice
Hill Memorial 213
525 S. Main Street
Ada, OH 45810
r-alexander@onu.edu
419-772-2093