Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Schoenburg: Mooney's winding road to academic stardom

During his 14 years in Springfield, I have come to know University of Illinois Springfield political scientist Chris Mooney as a smart guy who can give strong, plainspoken and sometimes funny comments on happenings in politics in government.

But he’s got quite a background I didn’t know about.

I knew he was founding editor of a national journal called State Politics and Policy Quarterly. He’s past director of the Institute for Legislative Studies at UIS, and in 2010 became the first person to become The Honorable W. Russell Arrington Professor of State Politics at UIS and the U of I’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

I had a hint that his high school days weren’t idyllic, and I asked him about that after his recent appointment, which took effect in mid-August, to head the institute — IGPA — that he’s been with since 2004 and has most of its 18 faculty members at Champaign and Chicago.

“We lived in a lot of places when I was a kid,” said Mooney, 55.

Read Bernard Schoenburg's full SJ-R column online

The story was published on September 1, 2013 by The State Journal-Register.