PPL Speaker Series

The Department of Public Policy Leadership is honored to welcome a number of distinguished scholars and presenters who will be speaking with our students in the spring of 2010.

Dr. Nancy Tuana.2011

On Friday, February 25th, PPL students had the great opportunity to have lunch with Dr. Nancy Tuana, who is Director of the Rock Ethics Institute and DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Tuana spoke about ethics and climate change and lead a rich discussion on the challenges of assessing responsibility and motivating action internationally to address the problems that climate change has brought.

Dr. Tuana also participated as principal facilitator in the Society of Philosophers in America's (SOPHIA) symposium titled "Disability, Civic Responsibility, and Community Friendship," which Dr. Weber organized for February 25th and 26, 2011, in Bryant Hall.

Photo of PPL students with Dr. Nancy Tuana.

Photo of lunch with Dr. Tuana.

We also posed for a shot:



On Friday, April 16th, Dr. Edwin Dorn, Professor of Public Affairs and Dean Emeritus of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, came to join us for a Brown-Bag lunch discussion on the subject of leadership and a formal talk at the Lyceum. Read on for more information on each of these events.

Dr. Edwin Dorn, Professor of Public Affairs in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of TexasBrown Bag Lunch - Noon - Lott Institute Conference Room, Odom Hall:

Dean Dorn spoke about leadership. The LBJ School has started a Center for Ethical Leadership program. Most people say “leadership,” but are actually referring to “hierarchy.” What does it take to develop successful leaders? Dean Dorn also discussed the way forward in Afghanistan and Iraq, drawing on his experience as Undersecretary of Defense.

Formal Talk-Lyceum Room 200, Upstairs at 2:30 p.m.:

"The Moor’s Last Sigh"

Leitmotif of talk: Historic events have huge ramifications, but what those ramifications are depends on who you are.

For example, what is the significance of the year 1492? The answer depends on whether you have an Arab, Middle Eastern, or European perspective on history. The year 1492 continues to affect our relationships across the globe.  

Dean Dorn meeting with PPL students in the Odom hall conference room.

Dr. Dorn used the story of the 700 years of Moorish dominance in southern Spain to address additional issues, such as:

- The ease with which we get confused about race.

- The current occupation of  parts of the Muslim world (Iraq/Afghanistan) by the West.


Dr. Edwin Dorn served as Dean of the LBJ School from 1997 to 2004. Before coming to the LBJ School, he held a number of senior posts in the federal government. In 1993, he was confirmed by the Senate to serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense. The following year, he was confirmed as the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. He was responsible for policies governing recruitment, pay and benefits for DoD’s total force of more than three million military personnel and civilians.

Prior to his presidential appointment in the Department of Defense, Dorn was a senior staff member at the Brookings Institution, where he developed executive education programs for government and private sector managers. From 1981 to 1990, he served as Deputy Director for Research at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He created the Joint Center’s military affairs program. He initially went to Washington in 1977 to serve in the Carter administration.

A native of Houston, Dorn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UT Austin and completed his Ph.D. in political science at Yale. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of UT in 1998. His major publications include Rules and Racial Equality (Yale University Press) and Who Defends America?, ed. (Joint Center Press). He also is the author of dozens of articles, reports, and opinion pieces.

Dorn is chairman of the board of the Kettering Foundation and chairman of the visiting committee of the Institute for Defense Analyses. Other nonprofit involvements include the United Way, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the Atlantic Council.


Dr. Steven Teles, Associate Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.On March 4th of 2010, we will be hosting our third speaker for the year, Dr. Steven Teles of the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to moving to Johns Hopkins, Dr. Teles was associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Dr. Teles will be speaking at 5:30 pm on March 4th in Lott 113. His talk is titled "Klugocracy." The following is an abstract of his talk:

"Americans often observe, either in frustration or admiration, that our government is 'exceptional,' normally in reference to the size of government as measured by the scale of taxing and spending. But even more striking than the size of American government is its sheer complexity -- the way that even intrinsically simple interventions are done in the most indirect and often ineffective manner possible. Our democracy, in short, can also be characterized as a 'kludgocracy' -- rule by clumsy, inefficient means. This talk will ask three questions: What explains the sheer complexity of American public policy? What are the consequences of policy complexity? And can anything be done about it?" 


Dr. George Lucas, Class of 1984 Distinguished Chair in Ethics in the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the United States Naval Academy.  Click on this image for a larger version that includes also Major-General Paul D. Eaton and the French Colonel Pierre Liot de Nortbecour.The second speaker we have coming to campus in 2010 is Dr. George R. Lucas. Dr. Lucas will give an open lecture hosted in conjunction with the Department of Philosophy and Religion here at the university. Dr. Lucas will be giving a talk titled "New Rules for New Wars: Military Ethics and Irregular Warfare" on Tuesday, February 23rd at 4 pm in the Overby Center Auditorium. The following is an abstract of his talk, followed by some biographical information on Dr. Lucas:

Short Abstract:

"Some have claimed that traditional moral and political concepts of 'just war' and of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) are simply inadequate to guide our intuitions about how to handle new kinds of 'irregular' or unconventional war.  We need, critics say, 'new rules' for these new wars, as well as new conceptions of war-fighters and weapons, strategy and tactics, to handle these new armed conflicts of the 21st century.  In this talk, Dr. George R. Lucas will survey some of the most recent developments that fall under the heading of 'irregular warfare,' including the advent of 'cyber warfare,' the problem of 'ethical interoperability' among coalition forces, along with the use of robots, academic scholars, and private contractors in combat zones, and invite audience discussion on whether these new forms of warfare do indeed challenge, or fall outside of, our existing legal and moral frameworks for analyzing war." Click here for a more detailed abstract.

Short Biographical information: Dr. George Lucas is Class of 1984 Distinguished Chair in Ethics in the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis), and Professor of Ethics and Public Policy at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, CA).  He has taught at Georgetown University, Emory University, Randolph-Macon College, the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and served as Philosophy Department Chairman at the University of Santa Clara in California.   He has received research fellowships from the Fulbright Commission and the American Council of Learned Societies, and has served three times (in 1986, 1990, and 2004) as director of National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes for College and University Faculty.  Click here for more detailed biographical information.


Dr. Gianfranco BattistiOur first speaker for 2010 will be Dr. Gianfranco Battisti, Professor of Geography, Dipartimento della Formazione e dei Processi Culturali, University of Trieste, Italy. Dr. Battisti will be presenting his paper, "The changing role of oil in the world’s geopolitical balance: An independent view from an European observatory."

Oil is the world's leading source of energy and will be so for the next twenty years. Dr. Battisti has analyzed historically how the constant reorganization of the oil business has changed the very nature of whole countries throughout the world. Come hear his view regarding which commonly accepted truths about oil are not so true.

More information on the remaining speakers in our 2010 series will be posted here soon. If you have any questions, you can email them to us here (ppleader@olemiss.edu).


Dr. Harry Boyte, Institute of Public Affairs, University of MinnesotaOur speakers in 2009 were the following:

Dr. Harry Boyte of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota was our third speaker of the semester. His presentation was titled “The fight for the Soul of America – Higher Education and the future of our Democracy” and took place on Thursday February 19th, 2009, from 4:00-5:15 pm in the Tupelo Room of the historic Barnard Observatory (location is here).

According to Dr. Boyte's Web site, he "is founder and co-director of the Institute's Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and founder of Public Achievement, a theory-based practice of citizen organizing to do public work for the common good which is being used in schools, universities and communities across the United States and in more than a dozen countries. Boyte has been an architect of the center's 'public work' approach to civic engagement and democracy promotion, a conceptual framework on citizenship that has gained world-wide recognition for its theoretical innovations and its practical effectiveness." For more information on Dr. Boyte, click here.

Dr. Larry Hickman, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale____________________

Our second speaker for the spring of 2009 was Dr. Larry Hickman, Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Director of the Center for Dewey Studies. He met with our students for lunch on Thursday, February 5th at noon to talk about participatory and representative forms of democracy in the work of John Dewey, and how we can use the methods of the sciences as a model for thinking about the optimum balance.

Dr. Hickman then gave a public presentation on the philosophy of technology in Bryant Hall, room 209, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 5th. This presentation was open to the public, and was part of the department of Philosophy and Religion's Forum Lecture series.


Dr. John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt UniversityThe first of our speakers in the spring of 2009 was Dr. John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, who spoke about "The Costs of Comfort" in the Tupelo room of the historic Barnard Observatory (location is here) on Thursday, January 29th of 2009 at 4 p.m. For a printable flier listing the details of this event, click here.

Dr. Lachs also had lunch with our students on Friday, January 30th at noon in the Odom conference room. Finally, he serve as facilitator and keynote speaker for the Society of Philosophers in America's (SOPHIA) symposium, "Ethics at the End of Life," which will ran from Friday evening, January 30th through Saturday afternoon, the 31st. You can find more information here below (click here), or you can visit SOPHIA's Web site directly here (http://www.philosophersinamerica.com).


Logo of the Sunflower County Freedom ProjectThe Sunflower County Freedom Project Internships

With support from the UM Office of the Provost Division of Outreach, The Department of Public Policy Leadership and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, the Sunflower County Freedom Project has interships available for students. The Internship provides a small living stipend while in residence at SCFP.

Application Deadline:  February 29, 2012              Selection completed by:  March 15, 2012

Eligible Students must have completed their sophomore year.  For more information, including the application form, click here

The Washington Internship Exchange, through the University of Mississippi.The Washington Internship Experience

Our majors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of internship opportunities.  To learn more about specific programs in place for internship opportunities, visit the Lott Leadership Institute's Washington Internship Experience Web site.

Dr. Joel F. Clark is our Washington Internship Experience Coordinator.  He can be reached via email at jfclark@olemiss.edu, or by phone at 703.307.9770.


Outreach Programs

Click here to learn more about outreach programs organized or affiliated with the Trent Lott Leadership Institute.  Click here to learn more general information about opportunities available through the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education at the University of Mississippi.


Scholarships and Applications to the Department of Public Policy Leadership

The Lott Leadership Institute awards a number of scholarships each year to students who major in Public Policy Leadership. You can find information about the scholarships and an application file (in Adobe PDF format) here.


HandsThe Society of Philosophers in America's (SOPHIA)
2009 "Ethics at the End of Life" symposium

The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) hosted a symposium, "Ethics at the End of Life," at the University of Mississippi in Oxford on January 30th and 31st of 2009 in Bryant Hall.

Click here for more information about the symposium, or for the story about our even that was published recently in Inside Ole Miss, click here.
Click here for information about SOPHIA.

Dr. Eric Thomas Weber
worked with Dr. Jo Ann O'Quin of the Department of Social Work to put on the event. Continuing education credit was available for participants who are practitioners in social work. Contact Dr. Weber (etweber@olemiss.edu) for further information about the event.


The Mississippi Philosophical Association Medical Ethics Conference, at The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS.Mississippi Philosophical Association
2008 Medical Ethics Conference

From November 20th through the 22nd of 2008, the Mississippi Philosophical Association hosted a conference on the subject of Medical Ethics at the Jackson branch of the University of Mississippi, the university's Medical CenterDr. Eric Thomas Weber was the Vice President of the association in 2008-2009, then President in 2009-2010, and was Program Chair for the 2008 event.  The conference focused on the ethical, political, and other philosophical challenges involved in cases of surrogate motherhood, stem cell research, active and passive euthanasia, suicide, reproductive rights and responsibilities, challenges for consent in cases of mental illness and temporary unconsciousness, and more.  Click here for more information on the conference. The deadline for the Call for Papers has passed.  If you have any questions about the event, contact the program chair by email here: etweber@olemiss.edu, or by phone at: 662.915.1336.

The Mississippi Philosophical Association is grateful to have had the generous support of the departments of Philosophy and Religion at Mississippi State University and The University of Southern Mississippi, of the department of philosophy at Millsaps College, and of the University Medical Center, the department of Philosophy and Religion, the department of Public Policy Leadership, the department of Political Science, the College of Liberal Arts, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Office of the Provost at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)

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