Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship
Meet the Faculty
The faculty of the graduate program have focused areas of research that will be of benefit to students, but the program’s curriculum is not built with these principally in mind. It is built, instead, around a study of first principles that transcends specialization. As such, all faculty members have broad interests in political philosophy and American politics.
- Larry P. Arnn (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School)
- Mickey Craig (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School)
- Robert Eden (Ph.D., Harvard University)
- John W. Grant (Ph.D., University of Dallas)
- Will Morrisey (Ph.D., New School University)
- Ronald J. Pestritto (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School)
- Kevin Portteus (Ph.D., University of Dallas)
- Paul Rahe (Ph.D., Yale University)
- Kevin Slack (Ph.D., University of Dallas)
- Thomas G. West (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School)
Larry P. Arnn
Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University, graduating with highest distinction. He received his M.A. in Government in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Government in 1985 from the Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Arnn lived in England from 1977 to 1980, first serving as a research student at the London School of Economics, and then studying Modern History at Worcester College, Oxford University. While in England, he served as director of research for Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. He returned to the United States in 1980 to become an editor for Public Research, Syndicated, and from 1985-2000 he served as President of the Claremont Institute, an education and research institution based in Southern California. Under Dr. Arnn’s leadership since May of 2000, Hillsdale College has launched the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship (located in Washington, D.C.), expanded the core curriculum to include a required course on the U.S. Constitution, and established an Honor Code, which all matriculates to the College sign. He also regularly teaches courses on Aristotle, on Winston Churchill and on the American Constitution. Outside of his duties at Hillsdale College, Dr. Arnn serves either on the board of directors or as a member of several influential educational and political institutions and groups. Published widely in national newspapers, magazines, and periodicals on issues of public policy, history, and political theory, he has most recently authored Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education, published by Hillsdale College Press in 2004. Currently, Dr. Arnn is working on a book that explains the connection in principle between the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Arnn resides in Hillsdale with his wife Penelope and they have four children, Henry, Katy, Alice, and Tony.
Read Dr. Larry Arnn's full biography
Mickey Craig is the William and Berniece Grewcock Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where, he has taught since 1986. Dr. Craig was selected Hillsdale College Professor of the Year in 1995. Dr. Craig also serves as the Chair of the Department of Politics, co-adviser to College Republicans and as the Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Dr. Craig has also served as Dean of the Social Sciences (9 years) and Director of the Washington-Hillsdale Intern Program (20 years). Dr. Craig received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Philosophy and American Political Thought from the Claremont Graduate School in California and earned his B.A. in political science from Arkansas State University. Dr. Craig has served as an Earhart Fellow and as a Henry A. Salvatori Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He has published articles and reviews in the New Atlantis, Political Science Reviewer, Benchmark, Perspectives in Political Science,, and the Claremont Review of Books. Dr. Craig has also published articles and pamphlets with the John M. Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, where he also serves as a Fellow and teaches in the Ashbrook’s Center’s Masters in American History and Government Program. Dr. Craig’s research interests include Classical Political Philosophy and American Political Thought, especially the statesmanship of James Madison and Abraham Lincoln.
Dr. Robert Eden is Professor of History and Politics at Hillsdale College. He has previously taught in the departments of political science at both Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and McGill University in Montreal. He received his Ph.D. from the Harvard University Department of Government in 1974. Dr. Eden wrote Political Leadership and Nihilism: A Study of Weber and Nietzsche and edited and wrote an introduction for The New Deal Legacy: Critique and Reappraisal. He has translated Charles de Gaulle’s The Enemy's House Divided with annotations and an introduction. Dr. Eden has also written articles for various publications including Political Theory, The Review of Politics, Polity, and Studies in American Political Development. In addition, Dr. Eden has turned several of his paper presentations into chapters for various books, including “Tocqueville on Political Realignment and Constitutional Forms,” in Peter Lawler, ed. Tocqueville's Political Science: Classic Essays (N.Y.: Garland, 1993) and “Partisanship and the Constitutional Revolution: The Founders' View Is Newly Problematic,” in Constitutionalism in Perspective: The United States Constitution in Twentieth Century Politics. (Volume III of the Series, Constitutionalism in America), edited by Sarah Baumgartner Thurow (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1988). He is currently working on Henry Adams’s Teaching: A Study of His Introduction to the History of the United States.
John W. Grant
John Grant is Assistant Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Eureka College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas. He teaches courses in early modern political philosophy and American political thought. His research interests are in the natural law tradition, American foreign policy, and the relationship between theology and politics. Professor Grant has received fellowships from the Olin and Earhart Foundations. He is a Jack Miller Center Fellow and an Adjunct Fellow at the Claremont Institute.
Will Morrisey holds the William and Patricia LaMothe Chair in the United States Constitution at Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan, where he has taught since 2000.
Born and raised in Rumson, New Jersey, he received his A. B. from Kenyon College, graduating summa cum laude in 1973 with a double major in political science and English. He received his M. A. in Liberal Studies in 1998 from the New School for Social Research and his Ph. D. in 2002, also from the New School, where he received the Hannah Arendt Memorial Award in Politic for his dissertation on the political thought of the American presidents of the founding and Civil War periods.
He served as Executive Director of the Monmouth County (N. J.) Historical Commission; legislative aide to New Jersey State Senator Thomas Gagliano; and Assistant for Communications, Office of the Executive Director, NJ Transit Corporation.
Dr. Morrisey is the author of eight books on statesmanship and political philosophy: The Dilemma of Progressivism: How Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson Reshaped the American Regime of Self-Government (2009); Self-Government, The American Theme: Presidents of the Founding and Civil War (2004); Regime Change: What It Is, Why It Matters (2004); A Political Approach to Pacifism (1996); Culture in the Commercial Republic (1996); Our Culture ‘Left’ or ‘Right’ (with Paul Eidelberg) (1992); Reflections on Malraux: Cultural Founding in Modernity (1984); Reflections on De Gaulle (1983/2002). He is currently working on a study of the geopolitical strategies of Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.
His articles and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Times, The American Political Science Review, The Claremont Review of Books, Social Science and Modern Society, Perspectives on Political Science, and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy, of which he has served as an editor since 1979.
Ronald J. Pestritto
Dr. Ronald J. Pestritto is Graduate Dean and Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches political philosophy, American political thought, and American politics, and holds the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution. He serves as a Senior Fellow of the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, and an Academic Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has published seven books, including Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, and American Progressivism. Among his other books are an edited collection of Wilson's speeches and writings -- Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings, a three-book series on American political thought, and Founding the Criminal Law: Punishment and Political Thought in the Origins of America. He has also served as a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University and, in addition to his academic work, has written widely in the public press on progressivism and the administrative state, including articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Claremont Review of Books.
He has scholarly articles in production on Lincoln and the Progressive Movement, on the progressivism of Social Gospel, on the democratic theory of Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, and on progressivism and property rights. His future research interests include finishing a book on the progressive origins of the modern administrative state.
Dr. Pestritto earned his Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate University in 1996.
Dr. Kevin Portteus is assistant professor of politics at Hillsdale College, having previously taught at Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, NC and Mountain View College in Dallas, TX. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude from Ashland University, majoring in political science and mathematics, and took his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in politics from the Institute of Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas. His interests are in American political thought and American political institutions. Dr. Portteus recently completed a book manuscript on public administration in the Framers’ constitutionalism. His next project is a book on legislative power in separation of powers constitutionalism and in the modern administrative state. Dr. Portteus has been published online through the Washington Times, Human Events, and BigGovernment.com. He is currently developing a course on the statesmanship of Frederick Douglass. Other areas of interest include The Federalist, the statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, and the political thought of American progressivism.
Paul A. Rahe holds The Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage at Hillsdale College, where he is Professor of History. He majored in History, the Arts and Letters at Yale University, read Litterae Humaniores at Oxford University’s Wadham College on a Rhodes Scholarship, and then returned to Yale to do his Ph.D. in ancient Greek history under the direction of Donald Kagan. He is the author of Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution (1992) and of Against Throne and Altar: Machiavelli and Political Theory under the English Republic (2008), co-editor of Montesquieu’s Science of Politics: Essays on the Spirit of Laws (2001), and editor of Machiavelli’s Liberal Republican Legacy (2006). In 2009, Professor Rahe published two books: Montesquieu and the Logic of Liberty: War, Religion, Commerce, Climate, Terrain, Technology, Uneasiness of Mind, the Spirit of Political Vigilance, and the Foundations of the Modern Republic, and Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and the Modern Prospect. He is currently working on a history of classical Sparta, tentatively entitled The Spartan Way of War, and he is a frequent contributor on contemporary politics and culture to the website Ricochet. He can also be found at www.paularahe.com.
Kevin Slack is Assistant Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. in history from Indiana University, and M.A. in political science from the University of California at Davis. After receiving an M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas, he taught classes in both history and political science at Ashland University and Merced College. Dr. Slack's first interest has been the political thought of Benjamin Franklin, the topic of his doctoral thesis. His recent peer-reviewed work on Franklin includes: "Benjamin Franklin’s Metaphysical Essays and the Virtue of Humility," American Political Thought (2013); “On the Sources and Authorship of ‘A Letter From Father Abraham to His Beloved Son,’” New England Quarterly (2013); “On the Origins and Intention of Benjamin Franklin's 'On the Providence of God in the Government of the World,’" Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (October 2013). Dr. Slack’s second interest has been post-1960s liberalism; he is currently working on a book manuscript entitled The Political Philosophy of Neo-Progressivism.
Thomas G. West
Thomas G. West is Paul Ermine Potter and Dawn Tibbetts Potter Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, and a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute. He received his B.A. from Cornell and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. He served in Vietnam. He moved to Hillsdale in 2011 after teaching for many years at the University of Dallas. He also teaches in the Claremont Institute’s summer Publius and Lincoln Fellows programs. He has been a visiting scholar at the Heritage Foundation and at Claremont McKenna College.
He is the author of the best-selling Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America, which has been assigned in classes at dozens of universities, including, on occasion, Hillsdale. West’s recent publications include “Freedom of Speech in the Founding and in Modern Liberalism,” “The Transformation of Protestant Theology as a Condition of the American Revolution,.” “Progressivism and the Transformation of American Government,” and, in a forthcoming article, “The Ground of Locke’s Law of Nature.” He is also the co-translator of Four Texts on Socrates: Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, and Aristophanes’ Clouds, of which there are over 180,000 copies in print. West is currently completing a second book on the founding.
Many of his publications are posted on http://vindicatingthefounders.com/author.
Over the past decade, West’s teaching in American politics has focused on the U.S. Constitution, civil rights, foreign policy, and American political thought, especially the thought of the founding. In political philosophy he has taught philosophers ancient, medieval, and modern, with a particular emphasis on Thomas Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Rorty, and Leo Strauss. He occasionally teaches a comparative government course on Marxism and Russia.