Thursday, May 20, 2004
OU to celebrate liberal arts, presidential leadership
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
As the presidential election nears, Oakland University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is leading the university community in examining how presidential leadership efforts affect society and democracy through books, classes, lectures and events. Through the Celebrating Liberal Arts: Presidential Leadership initiative, OU students will focus on our nation’s highest office throughout the 2004-2005 academic year to develop the leadership skills needed to succeed in work and life.
“The idea for this initiative emerged from a retreat with the heads of various departments in the college,” said David Downing, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We want to celebrate the liberal arts and the values it provides for students across the university. It’s a very interdisciplinary approach that focuses on a particular theme. With this being an election year, presidential leadership was an obvious choice.”
OU students can enroll in a number of presidential-theme courses. Among them are The American Presidency and the Executive Process (PS 301), The American People and Their Presidents (PS 323), The Modern American Presidency (HST 390), Political Sociology (SOC 460) and others.
“The Press Effect” will be the 2004-05 community book for first-year rhetoric classes. The book investigates the way the media frames issues and candidates for the American public. Students may never read a newspaper or watch the news the same way again.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, presidential historian and former assistant to Lyndon Johnson, will speak Thursday, Oct. 28, for the second annual Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, co-author of “The Press Effect,” will speak Monday, Nov. 29.
Several events are being planned around the presidential leadership theme including:
- Voter Registration Week, Sept. 6-10, will be sponsored by Oakland University Student Congress, College Republicans, College Democrats, Women's Issues Forum and Residence Halls Council.
- Darrell Hammond, political comedian and satirist from “Saturday Night Live,” will entertain audiences Friday, Sept. 10, at the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms.
- In October, Kresge Library will feature a display of memorabilia, rare books and other original materials on Abraham Lincoln. In November, the library will display books from its collections on U.S. presidential decisions and their impact on American society.
Other activities being planned include a weekend trip to Washington, D.C., political film series, essay contest, "dinner and dialog" program with OU professors about politics, and a special exhibit at Meadow Brook Hall featuring items relating to the political activism of OU co-founder Matilda Dodge Wilson.
“Oakland University students will gain tremendously from this initiative,” Downing said. “It provides direct experiences in learning about the political process. With this theme permeating their courses, it’s also a very valuable way for students to learn. In addition, the opportunity to listen to distinguished outside speakers is a great opportunity not just for our students but also the entire community.”
Celebrating Liberal Arts: Presidential Leadership is supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, offices of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, Center for Student Activities, Student Program Board and Student Life Lecture Board.
For more information on courses, activities and events, visit the Celebrating Liberal Arts: Presidential Leadership Web page.