University of Rochester

Political Scientist Appointed to Watson Professorship

November 24, 1998

Randall L. Calvert, an expert in American political institutions and a former chair of the University's Department of Political Science, has been appointed to fill the position of Don Alonzo Watson Professor of Political Science.

Calvert's specialties in the field concentrate on legislative politics and how the structure of organizations affect political outcomes. He has written widely on aspects of policymaking and formal political theory.

"Professor Randy Calvert is a top-notch formal theorist who has made outstanding contributions to empirical studies of political institutions," said Thomas J. LeBlanc, dean of the faculty. "Under Professor William Riker, Rochester became synonymous with the 'science' in political science; Professor Calvert carries on that tradition for a new generation of scholars."

Calvert received his bachelor's degree in mathematical analysis in the social sciences at the University of Kentucky and his doctoral degree in social science at the California Institute of Technology.

Since 1987, Calvert has taught political science at the University of Rochester. He was chair of the political science department from 1991 to 1996. His current professional service activities include chair of the political economy section of the American Political Science Association; member of the advisory panel of the Political Science Program of the National Science Foundation; and co-editor of the journal Economics and Politics.

Before coming to Rochester, Calvert held the rank of assistant and associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

As a benefactor of the University, Don Alonzo Watson (1807-1892) chose to endow a professorship to acknowledge achievements in the study of political science and history. Watson was a successful Rochester businessman and co-founder with Hiram Sibley of Western Union.

Members of the faculty who have held the professorship include the late Christopher Lasch, author and historian, and Richard F. Fenno, Jr., an authority on the U.S. Congress.