[UI320 Index] [UI320 Syllabus - Spring 2010] [Timeline of Modern Presidents] [Renka's Presidency Links]
[Modern Presidents] [Presidential Elections] [Election Maps, by County] [Presidents and Congress] [Renka's Home Page]
[Gradebook] [Forum] [UTest] [Drop Box] [Department] [Southeast Missouri State University]

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Modern Presidents

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UI320-01 - The Modern Presidency - Syllabus
MWF 11:00-11:50 a.m. in Carnahan 210 - Spring 2009
Professor Russell Renka


I.  Course Description
II.  Course Access
III.  Course Requirements
IV.  Textbooks and Other Resources
V.  Weekly Schedule - Spring 2009

I. Course Description:  We examine the modern American presidency in interdisciplinary fashion from the perspectives of history, political science, and speech communication.  Sequence is chronological, beginning with Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 and concluding with the new Obama Administration in 2009, in four sections of four weeks each.  Each presidency with assignments is accessed at the Timeline of Modern Presidents.

Class is held MWF 11 to 11:50 a.m. in Carnahan Hall, Room 210.  My office is located in Carnahan 211-L, with telephone at (573) 651-2692 and FAX at (573) 651-2695.  My weekly office hours are MWF 10-10:50 a.m and also TR10-10:50 a.m.  My e-mail is rdrenka@semo.edu and Renka's Home Page is at URL cstl-cla.semo.edu/renka/.

II.  Course Access:  OIS provides a class bulletin board (Forum), a testing site (UTest), a locale for posting papers and assignments (Drop Box), and a personal grade and assignment record (Gradebook).  The Index site is listed at Southeast Portal.

III. Course Requirements:                    Top

A. Quizzes: There are 10 brief multiple choice quizzes over assigned reading in Greenstein text and other materials.  Worth 10 points each, these are done via UTest and then shown in the Gradebook so you can keep track of progress.  The Quiz scheduling is shown on the Timeline.  Click on each presidential picture for a specific calendar of events and quizzes.  Net Value:  100 points.

B. Essays: 1000 to 1500 word papers of reflection and analysis. There are four essays, one for each unit of the course.  Students are expected to demonstrate some original and pertinent web-based research in each essay.  Essay Topics are published at the last presidency site covered in that section.  Each is worth 125 points; see the Weekly Schedule - Spring 2009 below.  Net Value:  500 points.

C. Oral Reports:  Each student will do at least one oral report to the class during the semester. Each report will be accompanied by a written outline of the Topic.  These Topics are to be related to one or more modern presidents.  They should address specific Topics that go beyond the focus of the regular course assignments; for example, one might do "Eisenhower and the Interstate Highway System" or "Kennedy's 'Ich bin ein Berliner' Speech" as Topics. Value:  100 points for the oral, another 100 for the written part:  200 points.

D. Forum participation: Meaningful participation in on-line discussions, facilitated through the UI320 Forum.  Net Value is 6 points per meaningful post, up to limit of 100 points.

E. Basis for Grades: Students are expected to complete all assigned reading, to participate in class  discussion and other activities, and to submit all assignments on time.  Late submissions are not ordinarily accepted barring unusual circumstances and will be considered only with prior approval from the course instructor.  All grades are shown via Gradebook.

Total Points: 900 points

IV. Textbook and web resources:              Top

A. Textbook:  Greenstein, Fred I. 2004. The Presidential Difference:  Leadership Style from FDR to George W. Bush, 2d edition.  Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.  Obtain through Textbook Service.  Most reading is my on line chapters via the Timeline.

B. Online resources:  Assigned essays are on line from Professor Renka under the heading of each president.  Video or audio files of presidential speeches are also there, with content descriptions by former UI320 co-instructor Thomas Harte.  Use my Presidency Links and Modern Presidents for comprehensive on line resources on the modern presidency.  You will also find on-line papers and assignments, and a set of Key Terms, under each presidency at the Timeline.

V. Weekly Schedule - Spring 2009:            Top

 Week Number



Paper due dates


Jan 21, 23

 modern presidency


Jan 26-30

 Franklin D. Roosevelt



Feb 2-6

 Franklin D. Roosevelt



Feb 9-13

 FDR wrap; start Harry S. Truman

Paper #1 on Friday, Feb 13 in Drop Box


Feb 16-20




Feb 23-27

 Dwight D. Eisenhower



March 2-6

 John F. Kennedy



March 9-13

 Lyndon B. Johnson

Paper #2 on Friday, March 13 in Drop Box
Spring Recess March 16-20    


March 23-27

 Richard M. Nixon



March 30 - April 3

 Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter



April 6-10

 Ronald Reagan

Paper #3 on Friday, April 10 in Drop Box


April 13-17

 George H.W. Bush



April 20-24

 Bill Clinton



April 27-May 1

 George W. Bush



May 4-8

Barack Obama

Paper #4 on Friday, May 8 in Drop Box

16 (finals week)

May 13 - Wednesday

 the future of the modern presidency


* Read Greenstein and Renka, and take on-line quiz prior to each unit.


[UI320 Index] [UI320 Syllabus - Spring 2010] [Timeline of Modern Presidents] [Renka's Presidency Links]
[Modern Presidents] [Presidential Elections] [Election Maps, by County] [Presidents and Congress] [Renka's Home Page]
[Gradebook] [Forum] [UTest] [Drop Box] [Department] [Southeast Missouri State University]

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Wednesday March 25, 2009 09:38:01 AM CST
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