Meet the ILR Instructor: Mark R. Joslyn

Mark R. Joslyn

Ken Marich

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is proud to introduce Mark Russell Joslyn as a new member of the ILR faculty. Mark is an academic political scientist and will be teaching a course titled Investigating Presidential Elections: A Systems Approach. He is currently a professor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

Mark was born in Battle Creek, Mich., and grew up in the Three Rivers area. He attended Ferris State University where he earned a B.S. degree. Mark went on to graduate school at Central Michigan University and earned two master’s degrees in economics and business administration. He then went to Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and earned a Ph.D. in political science in 1996. Mark has more than 30 years of university teaching experience at Central Michigan University, Washington University, and the University of Kansas, with specialties in political behavior and electoral politics. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and three books.

On a personal note, Mark married Mary Lisa, who is also an educator in nursing, on Nov. 11, 1989. They have two sons, Louis who lives in the San Francisco area, and Nick who lives in the Tampa Bay area. Mark and Mary bought their house in SaddleBrooke in 2022, and they are currently sharing their time between Lawrence, Kan., where he is currently teaching, and SaddleBrooke. Mark’s brother lives in Phoenix, and on a visit to Arizona, they came to Tucson and found SaddleBrooke. It was instant love, and they decided that this was the place they wanted to live. They both enjoy biking, hiking, and swimming.

Mark’s course will be very timely, given we are headed for a presidential election. His course will present an overview of electoral politics in the United States. It will emphasize the development of electoral rules and institutions, the nominating process, election campaigns, the Electoral College, various ways to predict the winner, and potential reforms to the electoral system.

For more information on the ILR, go to