Bush, Clinton to Chair New National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona

The National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona is a nonpartisan center that will advance the national conversation currently taking place about civility in political debate. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to serve as honorary chairs for the institute.

A new center – to be chaired by two former U.S. presidents – has been created at the University of Arizona to advance the national conversation currently taking place about civility in political debate.  

The National Institute for Civil Discourse is a nonpartisan center for debate, research, education and policy generation regarding civility in public discourse.

Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to serve as honorary chairs for the institute.

“I am honored to join President Clinton in supporting this important effort at such a critical time in our nation’s history,” said President Bush. “Our country needs a setting for political debate that is both frank and civil, and the National Institute for Civil Discourse can make a significant contribution toward reaching this goal.”

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Stephen Colbert Named Speaker At Northwestern 2011 Graduation

Northwestern alumnus will speak at commencement and receive an honorary degree

Stephen Colbert, the satirist widely known for the outrageous political pundit he plays on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” will speak at Northwestern University’s 153rd commencement, being held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 17, at Northwestern’s Ryan Field. A Northwestern alumnus, Colbert is host and executive producer of the multiple Emmy and Peabody award-winning “The Colbert Report,” touted by The New York Times as “one of the best television shows of the year.”

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Chinese entrepreneur gives $10 million to UC Riverside; largest individual gift in school history

The University of California, Riverside announced Monday that Winston Chung, a Chinese battery technology scientist, inventor and entrepreneur, has expressed his intent to give $10 million to support clean battery power, solar energy and sustainable transportation research at the Bourns College of Engineering.

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University of Texas to Launch TV Network

The University of Texas at Austin, ESPN and UT Athletics’ multimedia rights partner IMG College announced today a 20-year contract agreement to create what soon will be the nation’s largest 24-hour television network dedicated to covering a university’s intercollegiate athletics, music, cultural arts and academics programs.

The still unnamed channel has a target start date of September 2011 and will be the top branding asset for the university in exposure and value. The new network will be made available to cable, satellite and telecommunications distributors within state, regional and national markets. The deal also includes the possibility of other digital and broadband distribution of some events.

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University of South Carolina to Offer Course About Lady Gaga

The University of South Carolina will offer a course centered on the life of Lady Gaga next year. The course, titled The Sociology of Fame, introduces students to a sociological analysis of selected social issues related to the work of the pop icon. 

“Within the framework of the sociology of popular culture and music, this course specifically focuses on socially relevant elements in the rise of Lady Gaga’s popularity to her current status as a burgeoning pop music icon,” says Mathieu Deflem, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology who designed and will teach the course. According to the Deflem’s syllabus the central objective of this course is to “unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga with respect to her music, videos, fashion, and other artistic endeavors, with special attention for the role of: business and marketing strategies; the role of the old and new media; fans and live concerts; gay culture; religious and political themes; sex and sexuality; and the cities of New York and Hollywood.”

The course will start in 2011 and it will include a blog by Dr. Deflem, who says he has attended some 30 Lady Gaga concerts. The professor was born in Belgium and has completed extensive research projects including papers on international policing and internet technology.

Alec Baldwin Donates $1 Million to Alma Mater NYU

Alec Baldwin Drama Scholarship Fund Established to Help Students in Need

New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, a premiere institution for the performing, cinematic, and recording arts, has announced that alumnus and actor Alec Baldwin (Class of 1994) has donated $1 million for the establishment of the Alec Baldwin Drama Scholarship Fund.

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ABC News partners with UNL journalism college to open bureau on campus

ABC News is coming — to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

The college will open the newest ABC News On Campus bureau this month, offering students the opportunity to work with and learn from professionals at a national broadcast news network. The On Campus program is a partnership between the ABC television network’s news division and seven leading journalism schools.

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NV Regents Appoint new UNLV President

The Nevada Board of Regents today approved the appointment of Dr. Neal J. Smatresk as the ninth president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Smatresk received a two-year contract (August 1, 2009-June 30, 2011) with an annual base salary of $289,120 in the first fiscal year and $246,426.84 in the second fiscal year. He will also receive the following annual perquisites: $8,000 automobile allowance, $18,000 housing allowance, and a $5,000 host account. In addition, the UNLV Foundation will supplement the president’s compensation by $58,880 in the first fiscal year and $101,573.16 in the second fiscal year.

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