After eight years as an Adjunct Instructor with the MPPA program at Northwestern University I am pleased to be the keynote speaker and chairing a panel discussion on careers in local governance and economic development. It marks the end to my tenure at the University. Since retiring, my interests have changed away from an avocational focus to ones pertaining to civics, history and the environment. For me these endeavors are a return to my undergraduate roots. So my time in the classroom will continue but the venue and subject matter will change. My new home for the last three years has been the Osher Lifelong Learning Center at the University of California Riverside. Great experiences are still to be had. Based upon the scholarship of Collin Woodard, I just completed a two part series entitled “American Nations/American Character.” Averaging more than 80+ students, the Fall Quarter 2019 will be addressing:
Upheaval–Turning Points for Nations in Crisis.
Based on the scholarship of Jared Diamond, Ian Bremmer, and Fareed Zakaria, the course will explore how a composite of contemporary nations have reacted, survived, and adapted as a result of prolonged crises. Do nations as a whole employ the same coping mechanisms that individual people do in times of apparent overwhelming difficulties? Why do some countries succeed in defending their sovereignty, forms of governance, culture and economic systems while others do not? As Thomas L. Friedman suggests, how does the United States and the world itself thrive in a world of threatening accelerations? History and the review of specific case studies will depict how nations have risen to find solutions to what appears to be insurmountable problems.
Timely engaged conversations with individuals that want to be in the classroom versus those that feel obligated or forced to do so is a much welcome change.