347 Schaeffer Hall
Spring 2024 Office Hours
Tue & Th: 4:45-6:15
Dept of Political Science
341 Schaeffer Hall
20 E. Washington Street
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Posted updated Prelaw FAQ for UI students
Posted updates to 12 papers in Iowa Voting Series for 2022 election data
New Book, Supreme Court Agenda Setting: The Warren Court, published for Kindle devices and computers with Kindle reader.
Published updated and expanded edition of Prelaw Advisor in paperback and for Kindle readers
Below are some written comments I've received regarding either my courses in general (i.e., not specific to any particular course) or some other activities. More recent comments are at the top. If the comments were handwritten I will reproduce them as accurately as possible. This will include spelling and grammar errors (but I won't mark them with [sic]). Any response or comment I have will be in italics following the comment.
I apologize for the delay in writing this thank you. I can assure you I have written it a dozen times in my mind. I have pondered how to best express my thanks and after weeks of thought; I have composed the perfect statement, THANKS!!! I have reflected on the impact you have had on my life, and I want to share my conclusions with you. As a freshman I already understood that obtaining your respect was one of the most important accomplishments for an undergraduate Political Science major. I was very intimidated by you and now feel very privileged to have been your student. After taking your Constitutional Law class I was ready to enter law school--well, I really wanted to go. I know you do not hear this often, but I really enjoyed your research class as well. Knowing that you had your JD and PhD motivated me to obtain both. I wanted both but thought I was crazy--now I know I am just really motivated.
Anyway, thank you for your letter of recommendation and the knowledge you taught me. I have never felt so alive as I did in your constitutional law class. Someday I will earn your respect as a fellow academic--I always dream big. :)
The above was in a Thank You card that one of my students gave me several years ago. I saved the card and just found it in a stack of papers I was going through. It's humbling to realize that I had such an effect on a student's undergraduate studies. It also reinforces my belief in the responsibility I have to do the best I can to prepare my students for law school or whatever is in store for them. I haven't heard from this student since she graduated, but I trust she has been a success in law school and beyond.
These random thoughts are fab.
Your jotted down notes are another person’s day-long research project.
This was from a reporter who had asked me a political history question and I wrote up a bunch of "random thoughts" that ended up being a couple of pages long and said I hoped it helped.
I was one of your students as an undergrad over 20 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed your class and it was far more memorable than any of the other classes in political science, probably due to the fact that you were the only one providing balance in an otherwise leftist grouping.
This message went on to inform me of a particular event, but it was nice that he started out by mentioning he'd been in one of my courses.
I hope you remember me from last year, if not, I was enrolled in all your classes last semester ( I sat in front a lot). I wanted to begin by thanking you for giving me seriously the most interesting and engaging classes I've taken since I started school. That was evident last year, but this semester it has become even more obvious; I'm stuck taking all the introductory classes and all the remaining loose ends I never took as an underclassmen, and all these classes do is remind me of how great your classes were. None of these classes are even RELATED to the law whatsoever and at this point I feel myself just very anxious to graduate. Your classes had me reading on my own time about the Constitution and Federal Courts and everything else... the content and your teaching style pushed me to do well and I'm happy to say I think I did well in all your classes.
Yep, it's best to take intro courses sooner rather than later. Even to the extent that they might have a fair number of third and fourth year students in them, they will still need to be pitched to first and second year students. That can make them boring for advanced students.
Dear Professor Hagle,
I have officially started law school . . . ! It was a long summer of anticipation for this day, but I am very excited for the challenge that awaits me. I want to thank you for writing a letter of recommendation for me. If it was not for you, there is no way I would be enrolled in law school today. The task before me is not going to be easy, but if I give it my all, I know I will succeed. It’s crazy how life works sometimes. Three years ago I was not even considering attending law school. The University of Iowa opened up doors for me that I could not have imagined. It was professors like yourself who instilled confidence in me as a student. As I continue with my education, I want to build upon my learning experiences as an undergraduate and push myself to new levels. I look forward to being a law student and cannot thank you enough for helping me get in the door.
This student was challenged by some of my courses, but he stayed with it and showed the solid work ethic that is critical for law school. Sometimes students who had a hard time in my courses think that the law isn't for them, but then they take a little time off and the "seed" seems to sprout. These days I recommend that students take some time off between undergrad and law school to gain experience and also to get a better perspective on what they want to do in terms of their educational and career goals. For some students, like this one, it allows them to get a clearer focus and, hopefully, to do well in law school.
Hagle comes through and saves the day!
Heh, a reply from a reporter who was working on a short deadline after I was able to respond pretty quickly to a request for comments.
Thank you again for your letter of recommendation. Just yesterday I received my acceptance to [law school]. [It] was the law school that I most wanted to get into. I don't think I would have been able to gain admittance without the knowledge I had and am gaining in your classes nor without the letter of recommendation you had written for me.
Thank you again Professor Hagle!
Thank you so incredibly much for the letter of recommendation. I know it is going to be a huge help with my law school applications. I get the LSAT back on January 4th, and I will be sure to let you know how that and then how my applications go. Also, thank you for an excellent semester. I enjoyed your classes thoroughly. I found them very interesting and engaging. They definitely solidified my interest in law, and I only wish I had taken them sooner. Finally, I am looking forward to next semester and Research in Judicial Politics as well as The Criminal Justice System. I hope to use my experience in those upcoming classes to determine which field of law I would like to focus in. I am very excited to get started.
Have a good break!
This student had four courses with me in one year--and survived! Actually, he did very well in all of them and I'm glad he enjoyed them.
Oh, I heard very positive things from all four visitors about your meeting as we spent the last hours together over dinner on Friday night. I think your program was the perfect note with which to end their two week tour of America.
I am sure that you will be remain a strong name on our RESOURCE LIST for CIVIC visitors, although I imagine that it may be a little while before we “Election” programs again.
I know this is extra time on your part and we do appreciate your efforts.
This was from a UI staff member who set up a panel of election experts to speak to several German journalists about the US elections. She initially sent a message thanking us and I responded that I just hoped the visitors found it interesting and informative. She then sent this note. It was actually the second time I had spoken to a CIVIC group. Earlier in the year I had met with a group of Russian journalists and activists. That meeting was a little trickier as we spoke through an interpreter and I normally talk really fast! Fortunately, all the German visitors were fluent in English.
I am writing to ask you a favor - I am receiving my LSAT score in the coming days and was hoping you would consider writing a letter of recommendation on my behalf. . . .
I came to the University of Iowa with a plan - be involved in many extracurriculars, work in a lab, volunteer at UIHC, be an honors Biochemistry student, get a Math minor, and then go to Medical School. I never could have foreseen [a former CR Chair] on the Pentacrest screaming about John McCain, and then deciding to go to a College Republican meeting. Still, during my freshman year, I was barely involved. It wasn't until there was a complete student leadership void my sophomore year that I decided to step up.
You were an invaluable resource during my time as Chair. I had no idea what I was doing, and you were always there for guidance. I greatly appreciated your experience and perspective. The [a big dust-up with CRs on campus] was the most difficult challenge I had ever faced, and I wouldn't have been as strong without your support. The unfair ridicule I felt during that time is something you confront everyday with the Department. I have the utmost respect for what you do.
As an 18 year-old kid, I thought I knew the path I wanted to take with my life, but it was through College Republicans that I found my future. The greatest difference between my biochemistry education and my College Republican experience has been my mentors. I look to you and Dr. Miller-Meeks as those who have influenced me the most, and who I try to emulate. I can only wish someday that I will influence someone like you have with me. Even though I never took one of your classes, you are the best instructor I have ever had. . . .
Hope everything is going well!
This former student was the leader for UI College Republicans, for which I'm the Faculty Advisor. This can always be difficult for the CRs on campus, but this student had to weather a particularly difficult storm during her tenure. This student handled it very well and I'm just glad I could help.
Oh, thank God. A Hagle email.
Same reporter and same debate as post below. This one was after the end of the debate when I sent my final comments just before her deadline.
This was after I had sent a reporter a couple of sets of quick comments toward the end of one of the general election debates. She was on deadline and it was basically an exercise in insta-analysis and speed typing!
Greetings, all and just a note that your substantive contribution to The Gazette, Tim, is our featured Newsmaker on today's Iowa Now Homepage. Thanks for ensuring we knew about this!
This was from a UI News person noting that an invited column I wrote for the CR Gazette on four books that changed the national political discussion had made the UI's Newsmaker for the day. Here's the link to the original column.
Can you recommend anyone else at UI?
Although you’re the only prof in the state I want reaction from, I feel like I impose on you way too often.
Same reporter again. I told her she doesn't. The funny thing is though, about the same time I got a call from another reporter at the same outlet who also asked if I could recommend someone else for him to speak with. He said they had basically used up their "Hagle quota" for the month. I'm a popular guy, at least with reporters, in election years. Heh.
Cut and paste into story.
Another from the same reporter as the two posts below. She's a top political reporter in the state, so her kind words mean a lot.
Yes, I’ve got the latest polls.
The rest of this is extremely helpful.
Another from the same reporter as below a couple of weeks later. Not that I need such encouragement to respond to reporters' calls and emails, but it's really nice to know I'm helping explain the politics of it all for them and their readers.
Ohhh, I’ve missed you.
I can always count on you to have the best answer
Heh. This was from a state reporter who regularly emails me questions and I had just gotten back from a week or so of vacation.
Hey my name is . . . and I'm an incoming freshman majoring in Political Science. Heard you on POTUS yesterday while I was driving home from Orientation. It was pretty cool to hear a professor from Iowa on a national radio show. Just wanted to let you know.
It's definitely cool to do such shows--except the morning drive time ones. I am not a morning person. The one exception is the one I've done a few times for an Australian radio show. Their morning is our late afternoon, so I can handle it.
I really appreciate your response. Just in that e-mail there is more advice than my advisor has ever given me!
This was from a Pol Sci major who I had worked with in a student group and had been in two of my courses but who was not my official advisee (at the time at least). She asked for my advice on some opportunities that were open to her for the coming summer and I sent her a long message in response.
Thanks you very much for writing a letter of recommendation on my behalf! I have greatly enjoyed the classes I have taken with you and appreciate the insight you have given me regarding law shcool.
This was from one of the top students I've had in the last few years who had me for several courses and was one of my advisees. She ended up at a top five law school.
Just wanted to say thanks again for participating in the Wednesday political discussion for IPR and C-SPAN. All involved were very pleased with how it went.
This was signed by several Iowa Public Radio folks. I'm part of their rotation for the Wednesday political talk show (now called) River to River. This particular day C-SPAN was there and filmed the radio show. It was pretty cramped, but very interesting!
[I deleted first paragraph thanking me for writing a letter of recommendation for this student].
I also want to thank you for being my advisor and such a great professor during my time here at Iowa. I can honestly say that I learned more from your courses than any of the other classes I have taken in college. The rigor of your courses have made me a stronger writer, a smarter reader, and overall a better student. Although Con Law was the most demanding course I have taken, it was also my favorite and reaffirmed my desire to become a lawyer.
This student was in a couple of my courses and did very well. It's always nice when students are able to appreciate what I'm trying to do for them before they actually finish their undergraduate studies.
Hi Professor Hagle,
Just another quick note from law school. We are spending a whole class today in my legal writing class talking about basic case citations. Even a semester into law school, people don't know what "P.2d" means in a citation. Luckily I was not among them. I know I've sent a few e-mails in the past thanking you for prepping me for law school, but I'm not sure I told you how much I appreciate the "little things" that I learned in your class. Being familiar with terms, citations, etc. from the beginning of law school has helped a tremendous amount. And a note to pass on to students: As I sit here in legal writing, I can "take the day off" because we're going over things I learned in undergrad. There are great benefits from taking your classes, in addition to the material we learned.
This was another note from the student who had sent the long one a couple of entries below. I'll also post this one in a couple of places.
I love UI for giving tenure to a great teacher like Hagle. Sure, I didn't and still don't often agree with him on issues, but he's intelligent, backs up his opinions with facts, and respects those that disagree. I wish there were more conservatives like him in academia, or just more conservatives like him, period.
This was a comment left on the UI's facebook page that highlighted me as a political expert.
Hi, Tim. Congratulations! The Washington Post has named you one of the best Iowa political tweeters. Expect to add a few more hundred followers in the next few hours.
Yes, congratulations, Tim.
Two quick congratulatory notes from UI News folks (the latter higher up the food chain) regarding making The Fix's list of top Iowa political tweeters. The first one was right as the number of my followers jumped significantly.
This really is extremely good, Hagle.
You’re the master.
I bow to you.
I had to laugh at this one from a reporter for a state newspaper who regularly sends me questions via email. She usually includes "on deadline" to her emails and she likes the fact that I'm usually very quick and very detailed in my responses.
Awesome. Thank you SO much for this. Great comments as always.
This was a quick thank you from a national reporter based in DC for my response to some questions she sent me via email.
Hi Professor Hagle,
I wrote to you during my first week of the semester and told you how your classes had given me a great head start in law school. After finishing the semester, I can honestly say that "Thank You" doesn't go far enough to show my appreciation for the things you do for future law students.
In my writing class, I felt (and the professor indicated) that my writing was right where it needed to be. More specifically, I was writing in concise terms and saying exactly what I needed to say without going any further. There were times in your classes where I thought, "Okay he's going a little overboard here" when you would talk to us about writing. I couldn't have been more wrong. If my professor wanted five pages, he wanted five pages loaded with material, and no fluff whatsoever. Exactly how you said it would be, of course!
Another part of the writing course (and other courses) that I thought you gave me a leg up in has to do with the length requirement. In my writing course, I could have written 15-20 good pages on each paper. Our papers were limited to 10 pages. In another course, our essay exam was subject to a strict length requirement. Talk about pressure! I spotted 5 issues on the exam that I couldn't even mention on the exam because of this length requirement. I know you take a bit of grief for your "10 pages maximum", no page range, etc. Once again, it's spot on with how law school is, and this was great preparation.
Although I never used the "drop first test score" option in your class, basing the majority of a student's grade on one exam is exactly how it is in law school. For my other three classes (besides writing), our entire grade was based on one three-hour exam per class. So, having an exam worth 70% of the grade really isn't that bad!
The next comment I have is in regards to feedback in your courses. I was one who strongly objected (although not to you) to the fact that you did not give a "class average" or any idea of how others in the class did on tests. Also, I did not like that you waited until the last day of the course to return papers. In the research class, I did not like that we had no certain grade, but only an idea of our progress. But, in my first semester of law school, I got absolutely NO feedback on how I was doing in the course, except for my first paper grade in my writing course. This is a very unsettling feeling, and although you do give some grades throughout the semester, your courses were the closest I came to this feeling during undergrad. In my opinion, the lack of feedback throughout the semester is by far the most difficult part of law school. Trying to gauge how you're doing in the course is impossible, and it can drive you crazy at times.
Here's one that your course does NOT do well. In all of my courses, we had set assignments each day! Okay, so maybe I'm still slightly bitter that on the day I was assigned to speak in Con Law I prepared 4 or 5 extra cases. But, I just had to throw that in there!
The last comment is much more general. The reading, the writing, the classroom atmosphere, etc. that you provide are great preparation for law school. Attention to detail is key, taking good notes is key, and being prepared for class on a daily basis is crucial. The reading is dense, I had to read things many times to understand it, and there is a ton of reading every night. Professors don't use powerpoint in law school, so taking notes without powerpoint is a great skill to learn.
Okay one more comment, sorry! I had some multiple choice tests during finals. I would say your exams were very representative of what I saw in law school. I'm sure every student dislikes the fact that your exams are very detail oriented, and that one word can completely change the answer. Well, if they're going to law school, they should get used to it.
Sorry for the lengthy e-mail, but I really felt that I needed to tell you how much of an advantage I felt that I had in my first semester of law school because of your classes. I enjoyed your classes a lot, and I appreciated your teaching style at the time. But, now more than ever, I feel lucky to have had a professor who is so committed to preparing students for law school. Thank you so much, happy holidays!
This student sent me some prior comments when he started his first semester of law school. These apply to several of the courses he took with me as an undergrad that I'm going to post them to the comments for each course.
Thanks so much, Tim! It really does amaze me how many reporters you are in contact with! (And I really appreciate your willingness to do it!)
Another quick thank you from a UI News staffer. I appreciate their recognition of my efforts as it takes time to speak to the reporters, but also to be prepared to talk to them on a wide range of topics with (usually) little or no advance notice.
I first received a mass-email regarding the opportunity to nominate a CLAS faculty member for this award a few days ago and would like to submit my recommendation for the recipient of this award to Professor Timothy Hagle. Although I usually keep my opinions of University faculty to myself, I have decided it would have been a disservice not to have mentioned to you the exceptional work this professor has done and the impact he has had on myself and so many other students.
As an advisor, Prof. Hagle has been instrumental in my collegiate success. He is a faculty advisor for several student groups and has led many of the students in those groups with advice--both personal and collegiate. Prof. Hagle helps students navigate through University policies, build leadership skills with group chairs and officers, and is always available--at times even late at night---to guide his students through questions.
As a professor, Prof. Hagle has built a reputation as "tough" professor that will not hand out the easy A, butwill most importantly empower his students with fruitful knowledge. His challenging exams and rigorous lectures make his classes all that more informative and gratifying. It is clear to me that in the classroom Prof. Hagle is not satisfied with the status quo, but expects his students to study hard, be prepared, and earn their success.
Prof. Hagle's personal impact on me has been profound. When I first transferred to the University two years ago, I was in need of guidance and advice through college and in to a post-collegiate career. Through his advising I was able to find direction and a passion for my studies. On several occasions, Prof. Hagle has referred me to prospective internship employers and student groups which has given me the opportunity for prospective employment in the future.
Lastly, looking back through my Degree Audit I've noticed a strong correlation with my GPA and my involvement through the University with extra curricular activities with Prof. Hagle. The combination of Prof. Hagle's classes and his extra curricular involvement coincide with the steady rise of my GPA, which was nearly a 4.00 last semester. Had I not had Prof. Hagle's exceptional work ethic and interest in his students bestowed upon me, I highly doubt I would be leaving my undergraduate career (graduating in December) having achieved such academic and personal success.
It might be somewhat expected that a student will say some nice things while thanking me for writing a letter of recommendation, but this student's comments were a surprise--a very much appreciated surprise. The administrator who received the student's email forwarded them on to me and my department Chair at the time with the suggestion that I apply for the teaching award that year. Although the Chair indicated that he would support my application, it was with the least amount of enthusiasm possible so I didn't. I did, however, thank the student for his very kind words.
I'm not sure of your motivations, Tim. Obviously, you aren't getting named credit for the opinion you are expressing, which I know is something important for you professionally. But that being
said, I'm so very grateful that you are participating. Your predictions and observations are the most detailed of any I receive. They are thoughtful and insightful. In fact, when I have the group of
emails in front of me, yours is always the one I open and read first. In many ways, you set the tone in that I see observations in your writings and then better understand what the other panelists
are trying to get across in their own.
It continues to surprise me, although I guess it shouldn't, the common threads that emerge from edition to edition. Those common threads often transverse the entire state, and are even picked up by the handful of Democrats (mostly paid political strategists) that I've invited to participate. When I see person after person telling me essentially the same thing, then I know it's very close to being on the mark -- either that or everyone is reading or watching the same news pundits. LOL!
Well, I'm getting off topic. What I really wanted to say was thanks. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into your rankings.
This was written by the editor for a now defunct online news site covering Iowa news and politics. I was a contributor to a bi-weekly set of rankings they posted in the lead-up to the 2012 caucuses and this was part of a message she sent several months into the process.
Dear Professor Hagle,
Thank you for all of the support you have given me over the last three years. I am quite confident that your letter of recommendation made a very big difference in Iowa accepting me. I have also found that the things you taught in your class are in tune with Iowa's law school thus far. In some areas, those of us who took your classes are ahead of other students thanks to your high quality teaching. Moreover, Iowa uses Black's Law Dictionary and the style guide you used for your classes, so it has been a smooth transition.
It's always hard to say how much a letter of recommendation helps. I knew this student pretty well and was glad he was accepted where he wanted to go.
Today was my first day of orientation for law school at Iowa. I just wanted to say thank you, because I've already encountered a few things from your courses, or simply things that you told me to "look out for" in law school. It's crazy that after only one day I can say for certain that you helped me to be much more comfortable in law school. I'm sure this won't be the last time I say this, but thank you again.
I often get two or three emails from former students as they start their first few weeks of law school. This student had me for at least three courses as an undergrad. As I've said before, and tell them in my courses, one of my main goals is to make their transition to law school as easy as possible. It's notes like this one that help me to be sure that I'm still on the right track. Also, this student was correct in that he ended up sending me two more messages before his first semester of law school was over.
All of us at IPR hope you know the full extent of our gratitude for your invaluable contributions to our caucus coverage this year. We ask a lot from you, Tim--not just insight, clarity and real analysis, but time, patience and flexibility. You never cease to deliver, and your generosity is so appreciated! Thanks for making our reports and talk shows that much richer. And for your great good will through-out it all. Many Thanks.
As is indicated in the note, this is from the folks at Iowa Public Radio. In the lead up to the 2012 Iowa Caucuses (and since then) I've become part of their regular rotation of profs for their Wednesday politics talk show. I also did a few additional programs for the caucuses. I enjoy the opportunity to participate and I always appreciate the professionalism and good will of the IPR folks I've worked with.
Dear Professor Hagle,
[First two sentences thanked me for writing a letter of recommendation.] I find it strange and a little sad that I am not taking one of your courses during my last semester, as I have enjoyed them for the past two years. They proved to be both challenging and interesting--a welcome break away from some of the other courses I have taken at the university. Thank you for that, as well.
You're welcome! It's always nice to have students in two or more courses as it usually gives me a much better opportunity to get to know them.
I heard you on a public radio program mid-day last Wednesday as I was driving my car. You were involved in a rather lengthy interview that included questions and comments from the radio audience.
It was great to hear how very professional, intelligent, and politically even your comments were. Wish we had more people who represent the university as well as you do.
This was from a fellow member of my department. It has been just about the only positive comment I've gotten from anyone in my department or college regarding my media activities.
I wanted to thank you for agreeing to do the fyi story. It is one of the best I’ve seen recently.
This was from a U administrator regarding the story about my in the UI's publication fyi.
That is a very nice interview with you in FYI today. You help people to realize that political science is a useful discipline. Nice going!
This was from an emeritus member of my department after he read an interview with me in a UI publication.
I saw the piece in the FYI that came out today. Over the past few months I was beginning to wonder if the DI had you on speed dial – I guess perhaps that have. :) Not sure how you keep up.
This was from another faculty member with whom I served on a committee. I sometimes wondered how I kept up too!
It was great chatting with you, and thanks SO much for all that you’re doing to get the University of Iowa’s name out in the national media!
Another one from a UI News person. I keep including these because it is so nice of them to be appreciative of my efforts.
Wow, over 100 – that’s amazing! Just wait until things ramp up even more for the caucuses! I hope the folks doing the evaluation see the value of all the exposure your commentary has brought to the department and the UI! We are certainly thank for all you do.
This also from a UI News person. I had mentioned that in 2010 I had given over 100 interviews. As it turned out, I was just getting started as I had over 500 media contacts in 2011 and another 400+ in 2012. Too bad the powers that be in my department and college don't appreciate my efforts as much as the UI News folks do!
Great--thank you for your help with this call, and the dozens/hundreds of others you've taken. We hope you won't be burned out by caucus day.
Another thank you from a UI News person after I agreed to speak with a reporter on short notice.
You ARE popular – [Another staffer] and I were just talking about how grateful we are that you’re willing and able to field so many requests!
This was from a UI News person after I joked about how I had a busy afternoon fielding media requests and it was almost like I was popular.
I just wanted to thank you for everything that you've helped me with over the past 3 years, I've learned a lot and appreciate it very much!
I just wanted to thank you again for your advice and guidance in the law school application process. Thanks in part to your help, I am in my first week of classes at The John Marshall Law School.
Kevin Kelley and Dan Lind of the Center for Media Production shared with me and Steve Parrott of University Relations the 60-minute DVD review copy of the video “First in the Nation—The Iowa Caucuses.” It was wonderful, and I thought you all were absolutely stellar! Thanks so much for agreeing to participate. This will be a nice addition to our academic Big Ten Network (BTN) programming, which Steve and I coordinate, and Dan Lind’s office executes, as well as a great recruiting tool and testimonial for the UI’s excellent political science department. Thanks again,
This was something I and some other Pol Sci faculty participated in for the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.
Hi Tim -
I wanted to pass along some exciting news about the NIJ Journal. Issue 258 (of which you played a large part) won an award from the International Association of Business Communicators. See Nancy's e-mail below.
This came from someone I worked with at NIJ letting me know about an award that an issue of our publication had won.