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Statement on Teaching Philosophy

Dr. Bruce Bordner

Dr. Bruce Bordner is a teacher-scholar, government affairs professional, and political scientist.  His interests are in applied political science, public law and public policy.  Dr. Bordner’s background is one that combines excellence in academics with real world experience gained through working in the California State Legislature, the United States Congress, and the private sector.  Bordner’s core areas of interest focus on American National Institutions (The United States Congress, the American Presidency, the Federal Courts and Public Law), The Federal Bureaucracy, Interest Groups, California Government, State and Local Government, and Public Policy. 

Dr. Bordner has taught numerous courses in political science including: American Government; The United States Congress; State and Local Government; California Government and Politics; Judicial Process and Policy-making; Constitutional Law: Fundamental Freedoms; Constitutional Law: Criminal Justice; Politics and Economic Policy-making; Regulation: A Political Perspective; Introduction to Public Policy Analysis; Public Management and Policy; Modern Political Theory; and Comparative Government and Politics.

Rather than simply presenting students with political science literature and theories, his courses meld together theory and applied real world processes.  For example, students in his courses on the United States Congress typically study key political science literature examining the Congress, but also learn about the formal procedures that guide the operations of the United States House of Representatives and Senate.  Students also research individual public policy issues and legislation currently being debated within the United States Congress. 

Students studying Judicial Process and Policy-making with Dr. Bordner study the intricacies of the federal court system, but also examine numerous real world cases where the federal courts impact public policies.  Cases dealing with the environment, dangerous products, redistricting, freedom of the press, and the death penalty are explored. 

Students in Regulation: a Political Perspective typically study issues of regulation, rule making, big government, and conduct their own in-depth research on the federal regulatory agency of their choice.

Students in his courses on State and Local Government study issues of federalism, the varied structures of state and local governments, as well as public policy issues.  Beyond that, students typically choose a city to study in-depth and research a major redevelopment project within that city.

The learning objective for all of these courses is not only for students to learn about government institutions, theories, and processes, but also to engage students with the idea that government impacts our lives.  People make demands upon lawmakers for public policies and lawmakers respond by enacting laws.  Many of these laws must be implemented by government agencies within the federal bureaucracy.  And, the actions of the Congress, the Executive, and the Regulatory Agencies, all can be challenged in the federal courts.  All along there are competing interests fighting to have their voices heard above the fray.   It is a dynamic, but very real, process that impacts us all – from the safety and effectiveness of our prescription drugs and medical devices, to the size of the holes in a slice of Swiss Cheese, to the taxes we pay to support these government programs.