Bill Coplin

Shaping Six Decades of Academic Excellence
Bill Coplin

About Bill

Bill Coplin is an award-winning educator, author & social innovator with an impressive academic journey spanning six decades. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1960, followed by a Master of Arts in 1962 and a Ph.D. in International Relations in 1964 from American University. From 1977 to 2021, Coplin was the Director and Professor of the Public Affairs Program at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Coplin started his academic career as a professor at Wayne State University in 1964. His dedication and scholarship led to his appointment as an Associate Professor in 1967 and, ultimately, the granting of tenure in 1968. In 1969, Coplin transitioned to Syracuse University, where he continued his research and innovative educational strategies. His contributions to academia led to his appointment as a full-time professor at Syracuse University in 1975, a remarkable achievement at the age of 36.

Over the past six decades, Coplin’s scholarly endeavors have encompassed diverse fields, including international relations, public policy, political risk analysis, social science education, and citizenship. In addition to 110 publications, Coplin has taken action in many areas. In 1979, he co-founded Political Risk Services profit center in Frost and Sullivan Inc, which provided forecasts of political and economic conditions in 100 countries until 2000. His work has impacted all levels from Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the State of New York, the US federal government and international affairs. Meantime, Coplin has increasingly focused his efforts toward reforming high school and college education leading to the creation of Skills Win.



Bill Coplin Endowed Policy Studies Scholarship Established


Judith Greenberg Seinfeld Award
for Teaching Excellence


Civic Leadership Award
Onondaga Citizens League
25 Years Award Ceremony


President’s Award
Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse


Outstanding Faculty Advisor of the Year
The College of Arts and Sciences


Chancellor's Award in Public Service
Faculty and Staff Inspiration Award


Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship of Teaching Excellence


Outstanding Teacher Award
Alumni Association of Syracuse University


Best one-year curriculum for increasing public service awareness. Shared with James Carroll & Michael O'Leary.


Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, College of Arts & Sciences, Syracuse University


NSF Science Faculty Fellowship. Quantitative Methods
in Political Science
I have no doubt that Professor Coplin’s constant support and the skills I learned in PAF put me far ahead of the other recent graduates at my internships and helped me to land my first real job, which led to media spokesman jobs on Capitol Hill and in the Administration.
Jennifer Zuccarelli '03
Media Spokeswoman, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Listen to the Podcast on Spotify

With a witty sense of humor and a series of blunt takes, Coplin coaches you on what success can be, and how to achieve it –- with or without a college degree. On his podcast he interviews many Coplinites who share how Coplin’s coaching throughout their time at Syracuse University has helped them to achieve success today.