IU School of Liberal Arts
Former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge once said, "Politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process." For IUPUI political scientist Brian Vargus, that "process" is a fascinating trip into the minds of people who shape our society - and those who vote them into, and occasionally out of, office.
Vargus is a long-time IUPUI faculty member in the IU School of Liberal Arts, and is part of the school's large and fast-growing political science department. And the veteran educator is one of the big reasons for that growing popularity, aided by his reputation as an eloquent and insightful political commentator on TV, radio and print publications, plus a well-deserved national reputation as a leading researcher into public opinion.
He is a passionate advocate for research, not only by faculty and staff, but also by students, both graduate and undergraduate. As the founding director of the IUPUI Public Opinion Lab - now known as the IUPUI Survey Research Center - he built a student-operated organization that offered professional-quality opinion research not only in politics, but social issues and business concerns. At the same time, it offered those same students a unique and career-enhancing opportunity at hands-on learning. And his passion continues: he recently launched a graduate certificate program in survey research at IUPUI.
Vargus has regularly been honored for his dynamic classroom work, bringing the same enthusiasm and passion that make him a valuable commentator to his students, challenging and energizing them. It's a style that has earned him acclaim from those same students, including the Schallar Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005 and the outstanding political science teacher at IUPUI that same year.