John Aughenbaugh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
827 West Franklin Street, Rm 304


B.A., Political Science and History, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
M.A., Political Science, Virginia Tech
Ph.D., Public Administration, Virginia Tech


  • Department of Political Science (and previously, the Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs), Virginia Commonwealth University. 2009 – current;
  • Departments of Public Administration and Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness; Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs; Virginia Commonwealth University. 2005 – 09.

Undergraduate Courses Taught:

  • Constitutional and Legal Issues of Homeland Security (writing intensive)
  • Introduction to U.S. Government
  • Courts and Politics (aka Judicial Politics)
  • Constitutional Law (Structure of Government)
  • Constitutional Law (Civil Rights & Liberties) (created the course)
  • Introduction to Public Administration
  • Politics as Film (co-created/taught the course with Dr. Herb Hirsch)
  • State & Local Government
  • Introduction to Public Policy
  • Administrative Law (created the course)
  • Title IX Politics & Implementation (co-created/taught with Dr. Deirdre Condit)
  • Crisis of Democracy (co-created the course with Dr. Herb Hirsch)
  • Political Science Senior Seminar (writing intensive capstone course).

Graduate Courses Taught:

  • Constitutional and Legal Issues of Homeland Security (created the course)
  • Law and Public Policy (created the course)
  • The Constitution and Public Administration (created the course)
  • Administrative Law
  • Administrative Ethics
  • Principles of Public Administration
  • Public Human Resource Management
  • Local Government Administration
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Capstone in Public Administration

Specialized Teaching:

  • Civil Discourse; Co-created and co-host with University Librarian Stephani (Nia) Rodgers of VCU Libraries a Podcast Series on Government Documents. Began recording in January 2019. Have recorded 4 Seasons (38 episodes) with Season 5 commencing September 2020. Cabell Library; Virginia Commonwealth University; Richmond, VA.
  • Musings by Aughie. A regular column written for the VCU Political Department Facebook page on various and a sundry public law, judicial branch, public policy, and American politics and government topics. August 2013 – present. Over 240 columns.
  • Have conducted over 20 independent studies and 7 mentoring course experiences with both undergraduate and graduate students at VCU
  • Host and Instructor. Law in Film movie series (7 films on the subject of how law is portrayed in the film medium) for the Political Science Department. Spring 2017. Virginia Commonwealth University; Richmond, VA.



How terrorism exposes a gap in the U.S. constitutional regime; administrative philosophy of retired Supreme Court Justice Byron White; judicialization of public administration management processes, particularly related to reform of public institutions; organizational dynamics of courts and their effect on public administration; and constitutional implications of various economic development policies.




Prior to coming to VCU, Aughenbaugh was an administrator at Virginia Tech, including stints as Associate Director of Virginia Tech’s Richmond Center and as an Economic and Community Development Specialist in the Office of Economic Development. Before these administrative posts, he taught various public law courses in Virginia Tech’s Political Science Department, where he won a number of awards for his teaching.

Aughenbaugh has presented at a number of academic conferences, is frequently asked to lecture about the courts and government administration, has had a number of public law entries published in various academic encyclopedias and is currently working on journal manuscripts related to the federal courts’ impact on the work of bureaucrats, public administration service learning, as well as state research and development tax credit programs.  Additionally, Aughenbaugh served on the Governor’s Council on Human Resources from 2007 – 2009.  Lastly, Aughenbaugh has served in various administrative capacities at VCU, including being Coordinator of the Graduate Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP) program, Chairperson of the entire HSEP program from October 2010 through May 2012, and Associate Chairperson of the POLI Department in 2015.