Joining the faculty in 1976, John has served as department chair on two occasions. John teaches human resources management and specializes in politics and administration in local government. In addition to his academic work, he served eight years on the Lawrence, Kansas, City Council including two terms as mayor. He has spoken about local government to public officials nationally and in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and his ancestral home, Armenia. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his teaching, research, and service. He has been recognized most recently with a Chancellor's Club Teaching Award. He also holds a visiting appointment with Virginia Tech where he consults on their local government program, and he recently completed a three year appointment as the initial Greg and Emma Melikian Visiting Scholar of Urban Affairs at Arizona State University.