Bulletin News

National Figure in International Education to Speak


Political scientist Paul Diehl, the president of the International Studies Association, which is the largest international studies professional organization in the world, will lecture twice on Thursday, March 3, at SUNY Cortland.

Diehl, the associate provost and director of teaching-learning initiatives at the University of Texas at Dallas, will present “Turning Good Teaching on Its Head: a Thought Experiment” at 12:30 p.m. in Corey Union Exhibition Lounge.

Diehl, the Ashbel Smith Professor of Political Science at University of Texas at Dallas, also will discuss “The UN at 70: Constructing a Balance Sheet” at 4:30 p.m. that day in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

Diehl’s visit, originally scheduled for last November’s International Celebration 2015 series, is free and open to the public.

The talks were organized by the College’s International Studies Program, the James M. Clark Center for International Education and the Faculty Development Center (FDC) with support from the Political Science Department and the President’s Office. The presentation on “The UN at 70” also was sponsored by a Campus Artist and Lecture Series (CALS) Grant.

Diehl received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan. His research areas include enduring rivalries, UN peacekeeping, conflict management, and international law. Since 1989, he has served as a faculty affiliate with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security.

Paul Diehl
Paul Diehl

His latest books are co-authored with Alexandru Balas, coordinator of SUNY Cortland’s International Studies Program and director of the Clark Center for International Education: The Puzzle of Peace: Explaining the Rise of Peace in the International System (Gary Goertz, New York: Oxford University Press, in press) and Peace Operations (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014; 2008).

Diehl’s first talk will take a hard look at what are generally considered to be the qualities of classroom effectiveness. He will assess the value of two instances of applying the opposite of accepted good teaching practices.

“There is a consensus on what some of the key dimensions or indicators of good teaching are,” Diehl said. “What if we took the opposite of those elements? Might we learn something by turning good teaching on its head?”

His second lecture will spotlight the UN at a key point in time as it finishes its seventh decade. At present, the body has both its advocates and its detractors. Diehl will examine how one should evaluate the UN. His talk will present some key considerations in determining the value of the UN in international politics, with the goal of moving beyond polemics by using insights from evaluation research.

During his visit, Diehl will share lessons learned about successful initiatives in international studies programs and departments developed in the U.S. and overseas.

At SUNY Cortland, Diehl will meet with faculty members and students in the International Studies Program, and also with colleagues from Tompkins Cortland Community College’s (TC3) International Studies program, as part of an initiative to strengthen collaboration between SUNY Cortland and TC3.

“As far as I know this is the first visit by a president of the International Studies Association in the 20-plus years since we have had this (international studies) major on campus,” Balas said.

For more information, contact organizer Balas, assistant professor of international studies, at 607-753-4823 or alexandru.balas@cortland.edu.