The first 100 days of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration is the focus of a new course at Southern called “Presidential Elections and Transitions.”
Paulson noted the class was approved before Election Day, and therefore without knowing who would be president.
“Donald Trump’s election makes an interesting course even more fascinating because of its historical uniqueness,” Paulson said. “It marks the first time that someone without any governmental or military experience has become president.”
He said the three main areas of study will be the Trump transition; the office of the presidency from both a theoretical and practical standpoint; and an examination of the presidency and the executive branch of government.
“We are going to be looking at Trump’s Cabinet selections and his Supreme Court nomination, as well as his policy proposals,” Paulson said. “In fact, I plan to ask students to generate policy suggestions for Trump as if they were working in his administration. They’ll be trying to sell ideas that fit within his policy framework.”
Paulson said he is confident those ideas will generate interesting discussions that will help shape the direction of the class.
He said the way that the president shapes the Supreme Court and vice versa will be among the subjects addressed in the course. The president’s role in running the executive branch of government will be addressed, as well. “It might be surprising that most of the people working in the executive branch of government are not political appointees, and therefore, the president cannot control most of the branch.”
The separation of powers and Trump’s relationship with Congress also will be studied in the course, according to Paulson.