From the Director

Greetings, IR alumnus, alumna, or friend:


It has been a busy year for all of us since our last newsletter. Here as usual you will find news of your classmates and other members of the IR Trojan family.

One highlight of the year is that Michael B. Donley, BA 1977, MA 1978, and currently Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, invited our School to co-host a special Air Force conference at USC last April.

In these pages you can also read about inspiring achievements of current students. We are especially proud that at commencement the University named one IR senior a USC Renaissance Scholar and another a USC Global Scholar. These rare accolades carried a prize of $10,000 each.

For the second year, the School of IR has attracted the largest number of majors in USC Dornsife College, though, given the state of the economy, the fastest growing major today is economics. We have also seen an increase in the number of students choosing to double-major in Econ and IR. The faculty has decided to make the IR major even more rigorous, by requiring one course each in world economics, history, and research methods for all future majors—to keep up with or surpass competing institutions. Our graduates will be well prepared to make good on the promise: “I think, therefore IR.”

In 2010-11 SIR faculty published 9 new books and 23 new peer-reviewed articles, plus other newspaper and magazine articles to improve public understanding of world problems. They have appeared on news programs, represented SIR and USC at public conferences like the Reagan Library’s Cold War Symposium, and they have testified before Congress. Details are inside and on our website.

This year our dean authorized a major investment in the School through searches for three new tenure-track professors, more searches than he authorized for any other department except two. All three positions will be concentrated in international political economy, to make a major transformation in that subfield at once. This vote of confidence is catching attention nation-wide.

This past year Professors Abraham Lowenthal and Gerald Bender moved from the ranks of active faculty to emeritus faculty. We thank them heartily for their many years of contributions and we wish them the very best. We were also deeply saddened by the deaths of retired professor Gunnar Nielsson and professor emeritus James Rosenau. I am also sorry to have learned of the untimely passing of alumnus Kevin McDonough.

As always, please keep in touch. We love hearing from you. We will do our best to forward messages to retired faculty. If you can help successor students in this tough job market by letting them know about internship or job opportunities, they would be immensely grateful. And if you are visiting Los Angeles, please consider calling ahead so we can schedule an informal Q&A session about your field with students. If not, just let us know where you are and how you are doing.

With thanks for your interest, and warm regards for the remainder of the year,

John S. Odell
Professor and Director



  • School of International Relations
  • 3518 Trousdale Parkway
  • Von KleinSmid Center 330
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0043