Faculty & Staff


Neal Coates, J.D., Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1987
J.D., University of Kansas School of Law, 1990
M.A., University of Connecticut, 1998
Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2004

Phone: 325-674-2917
Email: coatesn@acu.edu   

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • International relations
  • Middle East Politics
  • Comparative politics
  • State and local government


David Dillman, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of the Jack Pope Fellows Program
Advisor of ACU chapter of Phi Eta Sigma

B.S., Abilene Christian University, 1970
M.A., University of Houston, 1974
Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, 1982

Phone: 325-674-2207
Email: dillmand@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Public administration
  • American government
  • United Kingdom civil service


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Mel Hailey, Ph.D.
Professor and Pre-Law Advisor

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1970
M.A., Texas Tech University, 1973
Ph.D. Texas Tech University, 1988

Phone: 325-674-2208
Email: haileym@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Religion and politics
  • Theory
  • Public law
  • Presidency 
  • American political science


L. Stuart Platt, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

B.A., Texas A & M University, 1974 
M.A., Trinity University, 1977 
J.D.,  St. Mary's University, 1979 
Master of Strategic Studies - U.S. Army War College, 2008

Phone: 325-674-2147 
Email: lsp13a@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Ethics
  • Judicial Politics
  • Police Practices
  • National Security  


Harriett Haag

B.A., Abilene Christian University 1976
M. A., Abilene Christian University, 1981
J.D., Pepperdine University, 1984

Phone: 325-674-2095

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • 25 years of felony and misdemeanor prosecutor
  • Elected County Court at Law #2 Judge, Taylor County


Jeremy Shipp

B.S., Abilene Christian University 2008
J.D., SMU, 1984

Phone: 325-674-2095

Areas of scholarship/expertise: 

  • Associate, Wagstaff Law Firm
  • Criminal Law practice

Robert McKelvain, Ph.D. 

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1971
M.A., Texas A&M University, 1974
Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1980

Phone: 325-480-4825
Email: robert.mckelvain@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Psychology of sports
  • Applying the science of learning
  • Peacemaking



Carmen Price
Administrative Coordinator

B.S., Abilene Christian University, 1990

Phone: 325-674-2726
Email: cjp11a@acu.edu

In addition to their teaching responsibilities, Department members are also committed to Christian scholarship. They have authored various edited volumes and published several books, including:

  • Mentoring for Mission
  • Ministers at the Millennium
  • Civil Service Reform: An Annotated Bibliography

They have authored a variety of chapters in edited volumes and have published articles in various journals and periodicals, including:

  • Public Administration
  • Terrorism and Political Violence
  • Texas Politics Today
  • Handbook of Crisis and Emergency Management
  • Public Organization Review
  • Handbook of Comparative and Development Public Administration
  • Essentials of Texas Politics
  • Reform, Ethics, and Leadership in Public Service
  • Handbook of Bureaucracy
  • Journal of Transformative Innovation
  • Pulpits and Politics: Clergy in American Politics at the Advent of the Millennium
  • Proceedings: A Conference on Administrative Leadership
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • International Journal of Public Administration
  • E-Agriculture and E-Government for Global Policy Development

Department Members have been invited to present research papers at various scholarly conferences, including:

  • American Political Science Association
  • International Studies Association
  • International Political Science Association
  • Ethics and Integrity of Governance Conference
  • Christian Scholars Conference
  • Southwestern Political Science Association
  • Women’s Studies Network
  • Lilly Fellows Program National Research Conference
  • American Society for Public Administration
  • Pepperdine Lectureship
  • Christians in Political Science

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