Tuckness named chair of the Department of Political Science

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Alex Tuckness

Alex Tuckness has been named chair of the Department of Political Science at Iowa State University.

Tuckness, professor, director of graduate education and Whitaker-Lindgren Faculty Fellow in Political Science, will begin a five-year term as chair beginning July 1, 2022. He will succeed University Professor and long-time chair Mack Shelley, who will remain with the department as a faculty member.

“Alex has been an outstanding director of graduate education for the Department of Political Science. He is also a recognized scholar of political theory and philosophy,” said Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Alex has presented a compelling vision for the department, and I am pleased to see him step into this important leadership role. I also want to sincerely thank Mack for his excellent leadership and guidance as chair these past several years.”

Tuckness received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago, followed by a master’s degree in political thought and intellectual history from Cambridge University, and a doctorate in politics from Princeton University. He joined the political science department in 1999, advancing from assistant professor to associate professor in 2005, and then professor in 2011.

His research explores a plethora of topics, including toleration, mercy, punishment, humanitarian intervention, ethics and public service, and revolutions.

Tuckness has been honored with numerous university awards. They include an ISU Foundation Award for Early Achievement in Teaching, 2003; the Department of Political Science Alumni Junior Faculty Excellence Award, 2005; and the Whitaker-Lindgren Faculty Fellow in the Department of Political Science, 2021-2022.

“I feel honored to be given this position of responsibility and the opportunity to serve the department, college and university in a new capacity,” Tuckness said.

The Department of Political Science is part of Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It offers an undergraduate degree in political science, a graduate degree in political science, a joint Juris Doctor/master’s degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in cybersecurity and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, the department provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.