Monday, April 05, 2010

Dean Straussman to Moderate Rove vs. Dean Debate

The University at Albany Student Association (SA) has named Dean Jeffrey D. Straussman of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy the moderator for its upcoming World Within Reach Speaker Series debate between political heavyweights Karl Rove and Howard Dean. "I am honored to be asked," said Straussman. "This debate promises to be both spirited and informative about the many challenges that face our great nation, now and in the future."

SA Programming Director Reuben Ingber, a senior political science major from Queens, described the dean as "the optimal choice" to referee the match between Rove, Bush Administration Senior Political Advisor, and Dean, former governor of Vermont and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "Dean Straussman has the knowledge necessary and he is able to put his own personal beliefs aside to insure that we can hear from these two political giants from their own perspectives," Ingber noted. "We're excited to have him as moderator."

Straussman's role, according to Ingber, will be "to keep the conversation going, to ask the tough questions and to make sure those questions get answered." The participants will be seated around a table on a set much like Meet the Press. Ingber hopes Dean Straussman will "get as many questions in as possible." Questions will be a combination of the dean's and those submitted by UAlbany students.

The Rove vs. Dean Debate is the second installment in the World Within Reach Speaker Series. Last fall, the Student Association presented former Secretary of State Colin Powell whose talk on "Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust & Values" was attended by more than 3,500 members of the UAlbany community. "We want to provide opportunities for students to engage in conversations outside of their classes," said Ingber. "Karl Rove is a huge name in the political community. Howard Dean is a big name in Democratic politics. We wanted to offer two people who are as far apart as humanly possible on all issues. Both are great spokesmen for what they believe. That allows the students to understand issues from all sides and be able to make up their own minds."

The debate will take place at the SEFCU Arena on the uptown campus of the University at Albany on Thursday, April 8 at 8pm. Doors open at 6:45pm. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff planning to attend must register online in advance.

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