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Randall Swain

Randall Swain
  • Professor of Government
  • Ph.D., University of Alabama
  • M.A., University of Alabama
  • MPA, University of Tennessee- Chattanooga
  • B.S., Alabama A&M


Contact Information

  • Department: Government
  • Office: Commonwealth 1507
  • Mailing Address: Commonwealth 1510
  • Email:
  • Phone: 859-622-6747


Professor Swain has spent most of his life in diverse, multi-cultural areas.  He grew up in Gary, Indiana and neighboring Chicago, and went to school at Alabama A&M.  After graduating, he served 4 years as an officer is the United States Army before returning to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for his master’s degree, and University of Alabama for his PhD in Political Science.  He was recruited by Ric Caric to Morehead State University, but as Dr. Swain drove up I-75, he decided to swing through EKU’s campus.  He loved the look and feel of the university, and decided that he would come here at his first opportunity.  In 2008, he applied for and was accepted as a teacher in the Masters of Public Administration program at EKU.

In the MPA program, Professor Swain teaches Public Sector Leadership.  He says this class is cutting edge in the field of public administration education.  Typically, MPA students would only learn organizational theory –a class about how public sector agencies operate.  However, students need to learn their own particular leadership style to get the best from their agencies.  It is an enlightening class for students, who have never thought about how they can motivate their future subordinates.

Like the other MPA faculty, Dr. Swain also teaches undergraduate courses.  He teaches Introduction to Public Administration, Minority Politics, and the African-American Experience.  These are thought provoking classes for both students and Professor Swain.  With his diverse background, Dr. Swain was always aware of the different experiences of different groups in the United States, and knew that other people were similarly aware of those experiences.  However, at EKU, many students have never thought about how different people might experience the world.  The intersection of race, politics, and culture is not on students’ minds until they take Dr. Swain’s classes.

His research explores the same phenomenon as his classes.  Professor Swain is interested in how race and religion influence political behavior in America.  In particular, he is interested what effect declining religiosity among African Americans will have on their political activism.  Historically, the church has been the source of African American political organization, but now that the formal barriers to political participation have been lowered, the church is losing importance.  He also studies the development of political leadership.  More generally, he is interested in what it means to be “the other,” or to be different within a political community.

Stories are important to Professor Swain.  He shared one from his youth.  Dr. Swain did not like High School, so his father put him to work in his factory.  It was hard work, and Dr. Swain hated it enough that he improved his studies so that he could go to university instead.  Nonetheless, he learned that even when he had given everything he had –there was always more he could do.  “The only limitations are those you place on yourself,” he said.  He also learned that real work is hard.  Poor performance in class is just a letter grade.  Poor performance in the factory is painful.  It is better to work hard now, in school, and get an education –not just a degree.  It will save students pain later.


Subject  TitleDatesLocationTerm
HON 104Leadership in Theory & Pract.TR 12:30pm-1:45pm University Building 139Spring 2024
POL 101Intro to American GovernmentMWF 12:20pm-1:10pm Commonwealth Building 1801Spring 2024
POL 101Intro to American Government  Internet Classes Spring 2024
POL 801Admin, Ethics, Public Policy  Internet Classes Spring 2024
POL 876Public Human Resources Mngt  Internet Classes Spring 2024
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