News: 'Civility in Ohio politics' is focus for inaugural event

'Civility in Ohio politics' is focus for inaugural event

03/28/2011

The Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron, the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and the Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement at the University of Mount Union have joined together in a public/private collaboration to address the state's most pressing political issues.

At their first event at the University of Mount Union on Friday, May 6, the partners will tackle a tough topic, "Civility in Ohio Politics."

Panelists will include:

  • Lee Leonard, retired statehouse reporter for the Columbus Dispatch;
  • Pat Sweeney, former minority leader in the Ohio Senate;
  • Tom Suddes, Statehouse columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer; and
  • Nancy Hollister, former lieutenant governor of Ohio (who served briefly as governor in 1998).

The panel will draw on its long experience with Ohio politics to compare present-day politics to the recent past, widely believed to have been an era of more civil public discourse.

"To many people, the 'civility in politics' is an oxymoron — like 'jumbo shrimp,'" says Dr. John Green, Bliss Institute director. "But more civil and constructive public debate will help Ohioans address pressing problems."

Discussion and ideas will be shared

The May 6 event will inaugurate a summer research project by faculty and students at all three institutions on civility, with the results to be released in fall 2011. "We will bring solid evidence to bear on the issue of civility, dispelling myths and offering ideas for improvement," says Dr. Stuart Mendel, assistant dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at CSU.

This new collaboration between public and private institutions draws on the special expertise of each institution: the Bliss Institute on the political process, the Levin College on public policy, and the Regula Center on public service and civic engagement. "We believe this partnership will offer new opportunities for the study of pressing issues before the state," says Harry Paidas, interim director of the Regula Center at the University of Mount Union.

The May 6 panel discussion is free and open to the public. For more information, or to register, contact 330-823-5993.

About Cleveland State University

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for engaged learning. With an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, eight colleges and approximately 200 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2011 as one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit Cleveland State University.

About University Mount Union

The University of Mount Union, founded in 1846, is a four-year, private institution grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Located in Alliance, Ohio, Mount Union offers an array of broad-based and career-specific undergraduate and graduate programs to its 2,200 students who experience outstanding opportunities for success after graduation. Ranked as one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the university is committed to providing a student-centered approach and an exceptional educational experience. For more information, visit University of Mount Union.

About The University of Akron

The University of Akron is the public research university for Northeast Ohio. The Princeton Review listed UA among the "Best in the Midwest" in its 2011 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Approximately 29,300 students are enrolled in UA's 300 associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit The University of Akron.


Editor's note: Please direct questions about the partnership to Dr. John Green at 330-972-5182, 330-329-7057 or green@uakron.edu.

Media contact: Sarah Lane, 330-972-7429 or slane@.uakron.edu.

See also:

Group to research incivility in politics, Canton Repository, March 29

Scholars to tackle incivility in politics, Akron Beacon Journal, March 29