Promoting Civic Education
“The air we breathe, the water we drink, the cars we drive, and the wars we fight are all decided by the government. Stay informed.”
Robert Dion, PhD
Associate Professor of Political Science
Department Chair of Law, Politics, and Society
A chance to know students individually
Robert Dion, UE associate professor of political science and chair of the Department of Law, Politics, and Society, has experienced the advantages of a liberal arts education at a small university from both sides of the classroom. While earning one of his degrees from such an institution, he benefited from small class sizes and the attention and support he received from his professors. Now that he is a professor himself, he appreciates the opportunity that UE’s small classes give him to get to know his students on an individual basis.
As he pointed out, it is a lot easier to communicate and establish a relationship with students in his class when it is a classroom of 24 rather than 200.
Knowledge you can use forever
One of Dion’s favorite courses to teach is Introduction to American Government. He likes the idea that students who take this course gain knowledge that they can use forever. He also likes the fact that the class includes not only political science majors but also those with other majors who choose the course as an elective.
“It is,” he said, “a privilege to share my enthusiasm for the subject with people who don’t major in political science.”
Understanding the world and how our system works
Dion’s passion to help people understand how the government functions goes far beyond the classroom to the general public. He is actively involved in politics and government and is a board member of several civic organizations. He has been the chairperson of the local civil rights commission for 14 years, making him the longest serving chair of any such commission in the state of Indiana.
Dion is a sought after local, national, and international media source on political events. He also gives public lectures on current political events, issues in government, and politics in general.
“My main goal is to help people understand what’s going on in the world and understand how the system works,” explained Dion.
“The air we breathe, the water we drink, the cars we drive, and the wars we fight are all decided by the government,’ he said. “We have the benefit in America of living where citizens can express their views. It’s troubling that most people don’t vote when they have the chance to do so. Democracy lives or dies on civic participation.”