Calvin Jillson



Office Location

Carr Collins Hall 214




Ph.D., University of Maryland

Calvin C. Jillson received his B.S. in political science from Oregon State University in 1971 and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1976 and 1979. He taught at Louisiana State University (1980-87) and the University of Colorado (1987-95) before joining the faculty of Southern Methodist University in July 1995 as professor and chair in the Department of Political Science. Dr. Jillson was  the director of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs and chaired the department from 1996 to 2001.

Professor Jillson teaches and writes in the areas of American politics, American political thought and Texas politics. He is the author of seven books and the editor of seven more. His classic American government text, American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change, is in its ninth edition; Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State, is in its sixth edition: and Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy, is in its third edition. Professor Jillson’s interest in the American founding has been pursued through two books: Constitution-Making: Conflict and Consensus in the Federal Convention of 1787 and Congressional Dynamics: Structure, Coordination, and Choice in the First American Congress, 1774-1789. And his two books on the American Dream, Pursuing the American Dream: Opportunity and Exclusion over Four Centuries and The American Dream in History, Politics, and Fiction, explore the positive and negative influences of that classic idea on American political development.

Professor Jillson chaired the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, from 1989 to 1993, and served as founding director of the Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment from 1993 to 1995. Professor Jillson served as the president of the Southwest Political Science Association during 1992 and 1993 and currently serves on a number of regional and national committees, boards and associations relating to teaching and research in political science.

Dallas Hall Icon