CU-Boulder announces finalists for Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy

Three candidates for new post to hold public forums this week and next
By Staff

The University of Colorado Boulder on Monday announced three finalists for the inaugural Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy. This month, the finalists will make one-day campus visits, during which they will hold public forums.

Since last summer, an advisory committee has been working to identify finalists. The committee has sought a “highly visible” scholar who is “deeply engaged in either the analytical scholarship or practice of conservative thinking and policymaking or both.”

The three finalists are Linda Chavez, chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity; Steven Hayward, Thomas W. Smith, Distinguished Fellow at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University; and Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

“The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased that the committee has chosen an outstanding set of candidates,” said Steven Leigh, dean of the college. “Their scholarly accomplishments and capabilities add significant strengths to our campus, and fit well with the high quality of the CU-Boulder faculty.”

Each finalist will visit campus for a day, during which the finalist will meet privately with the search committee, the chancellor, provost and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Each will also teach a class -- but that activity will not be open to the media.

Finally, each will hold a public forum, which will consist of a 15-minute presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session. The finalists’ visiting days are as follows:

Steven Hayward, Friday. Public forum from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Old Main Chapel. His presentation is titled, “Is ‘Conservative Environmentalist’ an Oxymoron?”
Linda Chavez, Monday. Public forum from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Old Main Chapel. Her presentation is titled, “A Conservative Approach to Immigration Reform.”
Ron Haskins, Tuesday. Public forum, “Why Worry About the Federal Deficit?: Our Kids Can Pay” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Old Main Chapel.

Chavez is a 1970 graduate of CU-Boulder, where she studied English literature, and she earned a master of fine arts in creative writing from George Mason University in 2012. In the Reagan administration, she was director of public liaison at the White House and staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Chavez has been a syndicated columnist since 1987 and has written three public-policy books, including “Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation.”

Chavez is a Fox News Channel contributor, a regular panelist on the PBS show “To the Contrary” and a frequent guest and commentator on NPR. In 2000, the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend” for her contributions to America’s cultural and historical legacy.

Hayward holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Claremont Graduate School. He has been the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he was principal author and project director of the AEI’s “Energy and Environment Outlook.”

Hayward has been a visiting lecturer in the Government Department of Georgetown University and is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy. He has also served as a Bradley Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Hayward’s essays have been published in The Washington Post, National Review, Weekly Standard and other publications. His most recent book, published in 2010, is “Mere Environmentalism: A Biblical Perspective on Humans and the Natural World.”

Haskins holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been a senior fellow and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution since 2001. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a sergeant from 1963 to 1966.

Since 2004, Haskins has served as senior editor of “The Future of Children,” a collaboration between the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. He has been a senior consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation since 2001 and has served in advisory and staff leadership positions in the White House and Congress.

Haskins has edited or co-edited several books. He is the author of “Work Over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law.” He has appeared frequently on television and radio and has written essays published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review and others.

The advisory committee that selected these finalists includes five faculty members and five community members. Keith Maskus, associate dean of social sciences and professor of economics, chairs the committee but does not vote.

Maskus said the committee has excelled: “The committee members have worked together extremely well and are committed to the goal of bringing an exceptional scholar to campus.”

Non-university committee members include: David Pyle, founder and CEO of American Career College; Mike Rosen, longtime radio host on AM 850 KOA and Denver Post columnist and political commentator; Bob Greenlee, former Boulder City Council member and mayor and current president of Centennial Investment and Management Company Inc.; CU President Emeritus Hank Brown; and Earl Wright, CEO of AMG National Trust Bank.

CU faculty members on the committee include: Vanessa Baird, associate professor of political science; David S. Brown, professor and chair of political science; Bradley Monton, associate professor of philosophy; Murat Iyigun, professor of economics; and Susan K. Kent, professor and chair of history.

“This is a novel idea to further enrich discourse on our campus,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “Any one of the finalists, if selected, will contribute to the diversity of thought on campus by encouraging debate and discussion, by sharing their scholarship and career experience, and by hosting public events in the campus community and perhaps around the state.”

The Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy is a three-year pilot program supported by private funds. More than 20 donors have raised $1 million to support the program.