Associate Professor of Political Science
Political Science Department
Director of Master of Public Administration Program
Master of Public Administration Program
Dr. Matthew J. Hanka is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Southern Indiana, a position he has held since August 2010. Dr. Hanka earned a B.A. in history and politics from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 2002, and earned a M.A. in Political Science in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Urban and Public Affairs in 2009 from the University of Louisville. He also served as a Senior Fellow with the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) at the University of Louisville from 2006-2010. Dr. Hanka also served as President of the United Nations Association of the USA-Louisville Chapter from 2006-2010.
His research interests include housing policy, community development, urban policy and governance, social capital, and historic preservation. His academic work has been published in such journals as American Review of Public Administration, Community Development, Housing Policy Debate, Housing and Society, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Urbanism, Local Environment, Planning for Higher Education, and the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs.
Dr. Hanka has worked with the Center for Applied Research at USI on four projects since 2010. He was on a team of USI faculty working with Habitat for Humanity International to perform a study on the impact on the Habitat Women Build program on homeownership by women single head of household families. He also worked with a team of USI faculty on a needs assessment of the Jacobsville neighborhood in Evansville. He also served as a community development consultant for the Engage Henderson project in Henderson, Kentucky, and last year, worked on a study examining the cost-effectiveness of Indiana’s Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative (IPSHI) for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA).
Dr. Hanka is a past participant of the Connect with Southern Indiana program, and a member of the October 2011 Class of Leadership Evansville. He is the Vice President of the Rotary Club of Evansville for 2017-2018, having served as Secretary for the past two years. Hanka will be the club's president for the 2019-2020 Rotary year. He also served as Sr. Vice President of United Neighborhoods of Evansville (UNOE) in 2014 and Treasurer of Westside Improvement Association (WIA) from 2012-2014.
He also has provided commentary on local political issues for WNIN-FM, Eyewitness News/Local 7 (WEHT/WTVW), and WEVV-44 in Evansville. Dr. Hanka also co-led USI’s recent environmental scanning process and co-convened USI’s strategic plan in 2015-2016.
Dr. Hanka lives in Evansville with his wife Ann, and their two sons MJ (3) and David (1).