Iowa State University Alumni Association

Members-only Lectures

Fall 2017 Members-Only Lectures

Pre-registration is not required to attend these lectures. The only requirement to attend is to be a current, annual OLLI at ISU member. If you are not a current, annual member, you can attend by paying the $25 membership fee at the door.

Members-only lectures online – Don’t forget, with the permission of the presenters, the lectures will be available through the OLLI Online option. You will be able to join the lecture live from home in front of your computer or receive a link to a recorded version of the lecture to watch later.

A link to the “room” will be sent to current OLLI members the day before the lecture, and a link to a recording will be sent the next day to those OLLI members requesting it.

Wednesday, October 18
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Reiman Ballroom, ISU Alumni Center

The 2016 Presidential election produced widespread vociferous comments, some going so far as to urge “resistance.” Repudiation of the results went well beyond the controversy over the legitimacy of the 2000 outcome. If the outcome is a matter of serious concern, how far should resistance go? Launch an effort to amend the Constitution? Seek to impeach and convict? The first amendment protects “the freedom of speech.”

The first amendment also protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” Reality may be closer to Thomas Jefferson’s belief that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Should public policy be decided in legislative chambers throughout the country or in the streets?

The Founding Fathers would be amazed that what they constructed two and a quarter centuries ago has endured so long. They also would wonder how it can be that their attempt to solve the problem of weak democratic government has failed to achieve its purpose.

Jorgen Rasmussen is emeritus distinguished professor of Political Science at Iowa State University, having taught European politics and Constitutional Law for a quarter of a century.  Before coming to Iowa State to chair the department, he taught at Vanderbilt, Columbia University, and the University of Arizona. He was the lead author of Major European Governments, which went through nine editions.

Wednesday, Oct. 25
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Reiman Ballroom, ISU Alumni Center

This lecture will be about the history, relevance, successes, and failures of the concept of multiculturalism. It will explore the material, ethical, and worldview dimensions of culture, and show that many problems have arisen by not paying attention to these separate aspects of culture. It will also explore the positive as well as the negative potential of multiculturalism.

Dr. V. V. Raman is emeritus professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a philosopher-physicist who has authored 14 books and many articles on a variety of subjects. He is an elected Senior Metanexus Fellow (Philadelphia), Academic Fellow of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, an elected member of the International Society for Science and Religion (Cambridge, UK), and a Raja Rao Awardee of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi).


Wednesday, Nov. 1
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Reiman Ballroom, ISU Alumni Center

The U.S. Supreme Court has the highest approval ratings of any federal branch of government. There are several theories about why that is. But this presentation will argue that the Court has issued several decisions in the last 50 years that are serious constitutional law mistakes. Moreover, these mistakes have created real problems for American society regarding race relations, Presidential power and free speech among other areas. The presentation will also show how alternative rulings would have been legally justified.

Mark Kende is the James Madison Chair Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of the congressionally endowed Drake University Constitutional Law Center. Kende earned his B.A. cum laude with honors in Philosophy from Yale University, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School where he was a member of the Law Review. Prior to entering academia, he clerked for a federal judge and litigated employment, civil rights and constitutional cases at a Chicago law firm along with Barack Obama. He has co-taught constitutional law classes with two current U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Kende previously taught at Notre Dame Law School and the University of Montana School of Law, and served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in South Africa. He subsequently was a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Paris – Pantheon. He is the author of Constitutional Rights in Two Worlds: South Africa and the United States (Cambridge Univ.) and Comparative Constitutional Law: South African Cases and Materials in a Global Contest.


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