PS: Political Science & Politics

The Teacher Symposium

America's Financial Future, Civic Engagement, and the Public University: Editor's Introduction

Steven Galatasa1

a1 Stephen F. Austin State University

In July of 2008, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AACSU) selected a handful of public universities to begin an initiative to promote civic engagement among students, faculty, and wider communities regarding the issues of the national debt and budget deficit issues. Named the America's Future Initiative, the project developed pilot programs on university campuses as part of AASCU's American Democracy Project, an effort to promote civic engagement on America's public university campuses. Moreover, the initiative linked the participating universities to Public Agenda, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization aimed at raising awareness about a number of public policy issues. The universities selected to participate in the America's Future Initiative varied tremendously in terms of geographic location and student enrollment.

Steven Galatas is an assistant professor of political science at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he serves as campus coordinator of the American Democracy Project. In addition to his work in civic engagement, his research on comparative elections and party systems has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Party Politics, PS: Political Science and Politics, Politics and Policy, and Public Choice. With Ken Collier and Julie Harrelson-Stephens, he is co-author of Lone Star Politics: Tradition and Transformation in Texas. He can be reached at