Rogers State University political science faculty Dr. Steve Housel and Dr. Carolyn Taylor recently published a supplemental textbook to fill a gap in classroom resources reviewing the importance of state and local government.
The two faculty members wrote “State and Local Government: A Brief Introduction” because many introductory government textbooks do not include these two levels of government, which often have the largest impacts on a citizen’s day-to-day life. Among functions most heavily influenced by state and local government decisions are emergency services, public education, street construction and maintenance, police and fire protection, utilities, waste management, sales and property taxation, and much more.
Topics in the 96-page book include state constitutions and local charters; legislatures, councils and commissions; governors and mayors; state and local courts; state and local taxes; tribal governments; intergovernmental relations; and voting and participation.
Starting this spring, the book was used in all freshman American Federal Government courses at RSU and the book will soon be made available to all political science professors statewide for use in their courses. The Oklahoma Political Science Association is sponsoring the project with proceeds from book sales supporting student scholarships.
“Reaction from our students when the book was used on a trial basis during the fall semester was very positive,” Taylor said. “We are excited about its potential uses in expanding understanding of government at the state and local level.”
Housel serves as Associate Professor of Political Science with research interests in state and local government, public policy, and historical and contemporary public administration. He has twice been honored with the Herrington Excellence in Service Award at RSU and is a member of the Executive Council for the Oklahoma Political Science Association. Prior to teaching, he worked in the broadcast industry for 10 years and in the food and beverage industry for 11 years. He’s served on the RSU faculty since 2008.
Taylor was named as Distinguished Professor of Political Science at RSU in 2015 following a 22-year-teaching career at the institution. That same year, the Oklahoma Political Science Association honored her as its Professor of the Year. She served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1984 to 1992 where she was honored by several organizations for her leadership within the House. In 2007, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame.
Both authors expressed their gratitude to Dr. Ken Hicks, Professor and Department Head of RSU’s History and Political Science Department, who developed all the accompanying materials for use with the book such as study guides, tests and PowerPoints.
RSU offers bachelor’s degrees in history, military history, public affairs, and social studies education, along with associate degrees in secondary education and social science. For more information, contact the RSU Department of History and Political Science at 918-343-6811.