Our History

Park Hall exterior.

Park Hall on UB's north campus is now the permanent home of the Department of Political Science 

In the 1962-63 academic year, faculty from the Department of History and Government came together to officially form UB's Department of Political Science.

A History of the Department

SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Claude Welch is currently writing a history of the Department of Political Science. Three chapters are available for preview:

  • The Context of Private UB and SUNY's Creation
    For the initial decades of its history, UB can best be viewed as a congeries of locally oriented professional schools, staffed largely by volunteer faculty drawn from area practitioners. Growth was gradual, responding to personal and group initiatives, rather than proceeding from a master plan.  
  • Early Years of the Department
    To summarize the lessons of this chapter, the 1960s constituted an extraordinary period. Copious funding from New York State made massive faculty recruitment possible. The rate of growth was dizzying. Well-established figures in the discipline and newly-minted PhD recipients joined the department.
  • Multiple Homes
    A challenge the department frequently encountered in its first 30 years was its regular uprooting. As the number of faculty and students grew, UB sequentially transferred several non-Health Sciences-related academic operations from Main Street, to interim facilities in an Amherst office park, to three different locations on the north campus.
Claude Welch.

SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus Claude E. Welch

Location, Location, Location

The department was housed in a number of locations before its current residence on the fourth and fifth floors of Park Hall. Professor Claude Welch captured images of the earlier homes of the department; in several cases, actual residential houses!

138 Winspear Avenue.

138 Winspear Avenue

142 Winspear Avenue.

142 Winspear Avenue

Butler Temporary Annex.

Butler Temporary Annex

4238 Ridge Lea Road.

4238 Ridge Lea Road