Political Science Faculty
Dr. Bette Novit Evans, Professor Emertius of political science, was born in Stevenville, Texas and received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in political science from Tulane University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was also a University Fellow. After graduate study at the University of Virginia, she completed her doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving her Ph.D. in 1972 with specializations in comparative politics, political philosophy, and American politics. Beginning in graduate school, Dr. Evans developed an interest in the intersection between political ideas and public policy choices. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the relationship between ideology and economic policy in post-revolutionary Cuba.
Dr. Evans joined the Creighton faculty in 1975, where she has been responsible for courses in legal and philosophical approaches to political life. Her concern for the intersection of philosophy and public policy is reflected in her courses on constitutional law and policy, and in her approach to teaching political theory. She received the Student Board’s Robert F. Kennedy Award for teaching excellence, and the University's Mary Lucretia Creighton Award for enhancing opportunities for women at Creighton.
As well as political philosophy, Dr. Evans studies and teaches Constitutional interpretation, and civil rights and liberties policies. Her research has focused on the question of equality for American minorities, and issues of religious freedom. Dr. Evans spent summers in National Endowment of the Humanities advanced seminar on constitutional jurisprudence at Princeton and Stanford Universities. In 1998 she published a book entitled Interpreting the Free Exercise of Religion: Pluralism and the American Constitution. She also pursued these interests in an applied setting as a past member of the Nebraska Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Dr. Evans is married to Dr. Michael Makoid, a former professor in the School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, who also recently retired from Creighton. Dr. Evans has two grown sons. Dr. Evans is enjoying retirement and what the good life has to offer. Dr. Evans is retired and living life to its fullest.
Dr. Philip Meeks, associate professor, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, received his B.A. in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame in 1972 and a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. At Notre Dame, he was a member of the Honors Program, a Ford Foundation Fellow, and studied in France during his sophomore year. At U.T., he was chosen as part of the first group of interdisciplinary "honors" graduate fellows and won the Redford Graduate Paper Award in 1979. After graduate research study in France, England, Portugal, and Denmark in the late 1970’s, he completed a doctoral dissertation on the influence of domestic interest groups on foreign economic policy in Britain, France, and Germany.
Dr. Meeks came to Creighton in 1992 as the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and served in that position until the fall of 1996 when he began teaching full-time in the department. He previously taught at the University of Texas from 1978 to 1980 and at the University of Georgia from 1980-1985. In 1982, he was visiting professor at the Institute des Etudes Politiques at the University of Bordeaux in France and in 1984 he was a Research Fellow at the Atlantic Institute in Paris. From 1985 to 1992, he taught at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where he served as the chairman of the department of political science from 1987 to 1991, was president of the Faculty Senate from 1989 to 1991, and received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award in 1991. Dr. Meeks was section chair of the Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies Section of the International Studies Association from April 1996-March 1998 and past president of the Southwest Region of the I.S.A. from April 1993-March 1995. During his sabbatical in the spring semester of 1998, Dr. Meeks did research in England and France and during the summer he was a Guest Research Fellow at the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame. In the spring of 1999, he accompanied and taught fifteen Creighton students at the ILAC Center in Santiago, Dominican Republic. During that semester he also visited and conducted research in Haiti and Puerto Rico.
Dr. Meeks has served Creighton University in a variety of positions, both elected and appointed. He has also participated at many professional meetings and conferences. During his sabbatical in the summer of 2014, Dr. Meeks was a visiting professor at the Universite de Namur in Belgium.
Dr. Meeks has a broad range of teaching and research interest in both the comparative and international relations sub-fields of political science. He has written and taught extensively in the areas of international political economy, international security, and science and technology policies. He has also frequently taught and written about politics in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Recently, his interests have focused on ethnic and racial politics as well as immigration and nationalism issues. He has been busy working with several publishers writing teaching supplements and instructor guides.
Dr. Meeks is also active in his community as he has served on the Social Ministry Board for the Catholic Diocese, Campaign Chair for the United Way Drive, as well as a layperson for Ignation Associates, which study and do service for the ministries of the Society of Jesus. He also assists in programs at Creighton Prep High School, Jesuit Meddle School and Computers for Africa.
He enjoys art and music and has become an avid sculptor and painter. Dr. Meeks and his wife, Carolyn, have four adult children as well as several grandchildren.
Dr. Kenneth Wise, Professor Emeritus of political science and a former department chair, taught classes in foreign policy and global political issues. He is a recipient of College awards for excellence in advising and teaching. In 1991, he received the Graduate College’s Burlington Northern award for teaching excellence, and in 1992 received a University Distinguished Service Award. Wise presented papers at the international conferences on problems in NATO strategy, on global studies’ paradigm disputes, and on the concept of global citizenship. In recent years he has lectured and researched at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and several universities and think tanks in Central and Western Europe. In 1990, he edited Implications of German Unification for Future All-European Security, published by NATO, and has written a volume on crisis management simulations for the Atlantic Council of the U.S. In 1997, he interviewed Chinese leaders and scholars to learn their views on global strategic relations and presented a paper on the Global Constitution to the Council of Europe.
Dr. Wise served 25 years as the Omaha representative on the Conference of Committees of the New York Council of Foreign Relations. In this capacity, he brought to campus more than 175 foreign diplomats, correspondents, scholars, and parliamentarians actively involved in making crucial world decisions. Wise is also an Academic Associate of the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C., and serves on the Administrative Council of the InterUniversity Centre in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Dr. Wise holds the B.A. in history (Blue Key, Pi Delta Epsilon) from Midland Lutheran College, and the M.A. in international law and organization and the Ph.D. in international studies (Pi Sigma Alpha) with high distinction from the School of International Service of The American University, Washington, D.C. Between undergraduate and graduate study, Dr. Wise edited a daily Nebraska newspaper. He joined Creighton’s faculty in February of 1967.
Dr. Wise spent a number of years residing in Dubai, UAE where he worked for a governmental consulting group. Now fully retired, he has returned to Omaha to live, but he is still working with several agencies in Dubai, UAE. Dr. Wise and his wife, Kay, have two children and two grandchildren.
Dr. Jim S. Wunsch
Dr. Sue Crawford became Professor Emeritus at Creighton University in 2021. She taught at Creighton from 1995 to 2021. Her research included work on religion and politics, civic engagement, public policy, and health policy. In 2020-21 she held a Kingfisher Institute research fellowship for a project on paid sick leave comparing health results from states with paid sick leave to those without. During her tenure at Creighton Sue taught courses in Public & Nonprofit Management, Health Policy, and Policy Analysis, and supervised internships.
From 2013 to 2020 Dr. Crawford served as a state senator in the Nebraska State Legislature emphasizing health, veteran & military family, and economic issues. Among the bills that she sponsored and passed include bills to remove regulatory burdens for Nurse Practitioners in the state, to honor the unclaimed remains of veterans, and to expand access to Medicaid for individuals with disabilities.
In 2021 Dr. Crawford accepted a position as the City Administrator with the City of York, Nebraska. She is currently enjoying practicing what she taught in public management and public policy classes. York is a city on the I-80 corridor in Nebraska, perhaps best known for its rainbow hot air balloon water tower on the Interstate. In 2022 the city received a $15.6 million federal grant to improve pedestrian infrastructure, including around the interstate area. Also in 2022, the city, in partnership with the Nebraska Public Power District, converted entirely to solar power and enabled the York Public Schools and York County to also switch entirely to solar power for their electricity.