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UW-Madison chancellor hosts ‘Meeting of the Minds’

September 20, 2010 By Jenny Price

The U.S. economy continues to struggle, control of Congress is at stake in November, the country is at war and on some days, certain headlines in The Onion start to ring true.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin will lead a dynamic conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 29, with four UW–Madison faculty at the top of their fields to cut through the chatter and tackle the issues at the core of what it means to live in a democracy in 2010. The inaugural Chancellor’s Series: Meeting of the Minds at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York is open to UW alumni and friends.

“This will be a lively discussion focusing on subjects that concern us all, including the prospects for a deliberative democracy, given the heavily ideological divisions in the country, the challenges we face, and the dramatic changes in mass media,” Martin says. “The talented and engaging UW professors who are taking part are scholars of climate change, government, media ethics and politics. This event is at the heart of what it means to be part of a public research university.”

UW-Madison is listed in the top 20 among world universities in an annual ranking done by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University and ranked seventh among public institutions in the 2009 edition of America’s Best Colleges, produced by U.S. News and World Report.

“This program is a model we hope to use with the chancellor and UW faculty to bring them to metropolitan areas around the country and provide a rich and very different experience for alumni, donors and friends,” says Wisconsin Alumni Association president and CEO Paula Bonner.

Martin began serving as UW–Madison’s chancellor in September 2008 after eight years as provost at Cornell University. The panel for the event includes:

  • Barry Burden, professor of political science whose research includes third-party candidate strategies, Congress, public opinion and the U.S. election system in the wake of the 2000 election meltdown in Florida. He also appeared in the 2006 documentary about Ralph Nader, “An Unreasonable Man.”
  • Tracey Holloway, associate professor of environmental studies and director of the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. She is an expert on air pollution and climate change, and her research has examined the environmental benefits of transportation and electricity options, the impact of pollution from Europe and Asia on the United States, and developing nations most likely to attract biodiesel investment.
  • Joel Rogers, professor of law, political science and sociology and director of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy. Rogers is also a MacArthur Foundation fellow, a contributing editor of The Nation and Boston Review, and named by Newsweek as one of 100 Americans most likely to affect U.S. politics and culture in the 21st century.
  • Stephen J. A. Ward, Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics and founding director of the Center for Journalism Ethics. He is the author of the award-winning “The Invention of Journalism Ethics” and, recently, “Global Journalism Ethics,” and has worked as a political reporter and war correspondent, covering conflicts in Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

The Morgan Library & Museum is located at 225 Madison Ave. at 36th Street, New York. A reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by the panel discussion at 6:45 p.m. The event is $50 per person or $35 per person for recent graduates (graduation year 2000-present). Attendees also will have exclusive, after-hours access to the museum’s galleries.

The registration deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 22. Registration information is available at: or by contacting P.J. Hoesly at 888-947-2586 or

For more information about The Morgan Library & Museum, visit