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Hofstra Announces Debate 2016 Programs

Hofstra University, host of the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, will present a series of lectures, panel discussions, film screenings and workshops about the election featuring speakers such as Democratic strategist and former Chief White House advisor David Axelrod, former Louisiana Governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal and CNN political commentator Sally Kohn.

The interdisciplinary programming includes more than 25 events in the two weeks before the first debate addressing issues such as race relations, international trade agreements, foreign policy, public education, infrastructure, and federal budget policy. All events are free and open to the public. A complete listing of debate-related events can be found at

Hofstra University will be the first university to ever host three consecutive presidential debates.

“Hosting a presidential debate is an extraordinary opportunity to inspire our students to embrace their power and responsibility as citizens to engage in the democratic process,” said President Stuart Rabinowitz. “As we saw when we had the honor or hosting debates in 2008 and 2012, giving students the chance to hear from policymakers, journalists and scholars across the ideological spectrum is an essential part of their participation in these historic events.”

Debate programs begin on Monday, Sept. 12 at 10:15 a.m. with The Madhouse Effect, featuring Dr. Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of meteorology and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, who wrote the 2016 book, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics and Driving Us Crazy.

Other debate programming includes:

  • David Axelrod: The Evolving Media and Political Landscape – Tuesday, Sept. 13, 11:15 a.m. 12:40 p.m., John Cranford Adams Playhouse, South Campus.
  • Film Screening & Discussion: The United States as the World’s Police Force: Does it have to be this way forever? – 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center, North Campus
  • Screening: American Umpire, a documentary film
  • Discussion with diplomatic historian Elizabeth Cobbs, author of the book American Umpire and Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History, Texas A&M University (moderated by Meena Bose, executive dean for public policy and public service programs at Hofstra’s Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs)
  • Conversation with Bobby Jindal – Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6:30-7:45 p.m., John Cranford Adams Playhouse.
  • Panel Discussion: To TPP or not TPP? Should the U.S. Join the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other International Trade Agreements? 15, noon – 2 p.m., Maurice A. Deane School of Law, South Campus.
  • Panel Discussion: An Agenda for Public Education – Thursday, Sept. 15, 6-8:30 p.m., Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library, South Campus.
  • Workshop and Panel Discussion on federal budget policy (co-sponsored by The Concord Coalition), Monday, Sept. 20, East Multipurpose Room, Mack Student Center, North Campus

9:30-11:30 a.m. Principles & Priorities workshop for small groups of students and local residents

12:45-2:30 p.m. Our Nation’s Fiscal Future panel discussion featuring Washington experts including former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition

  • Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology, Georgetown University, and author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in AmericaTuesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m., Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center
  • Sally Kohn, CNN commentator and Daily Beast columnist: In Defense of Political Correctness and Identity Politics, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 11:15 a.m. – 12:40 p.m., John Cranford Adams Playhouse.
  • Panel Discussion: Analytics and Decision Making — the Impact of Big Data on Major Sectors of the Economy – Wednesday, Sept. 21, 4-6 p.m., Guthart Cultural Center Theater.
  • What Issues Will Decide the 2016 Presidential Election? A Discussion with Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor, and Stephen F. Hayes, senior writer at The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor – Thursday, Sept. 22, 11:15 a.m. – 12:40 p.m., John Cranford Adams Playhouse.
  • Ellen Fitzpatrick, professor of history, University of New Hampshire and author of the book The Highest Glass Ceiling Women’s Quest for the American Presidency – Thursday, Sept. 22, 4:30-6 p.m., Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center.

The debate itself is produced and sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a non-partisan, non-profit organization, which controls all aspects of debate production. The limited number of debate tickets that may be allocated to Hofstra University by the CPD will be distributed via lottery to current students.  The University will host public debate watch parties on its South Campus, in Fortunoff Theater at Monroe Lecture Center and at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse.

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