By Carolyn Bossmann
Opinions among students in times of war are often varied. However, Brookhaven College’s Institute for Political Studies has enlisted an expert to clear up some of the confusion. Dr. Edward Harpham, from the University of Texas at Dallas, will speak on campus Feb. 16 Harpham is an expert in presidential decision-making and will be discussing “going to war and how presidential decision-making and the constitution come into play,” professor Ahad Hayaud-Din, director of IPS, said.
Harpham is the dean of UTD’s Honors College, associate provost, professor of political science and has an M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Cornell University.
“In the past, we’ve had people come in and talk about the president’s public opinion numbers, or what the media’s portraying about a president, but this time I wanted to get inside the head of the president,” Hayaud-Din said.
The focus will be on past American presidents during times of war. Harpham will discuss how decisions were made and “how the constitution guided them,” Hayaud-Din said. While President Barack Obama and his decisions will be discussed, they will not be the main focus of Harpham’s talk.
At the end of the event, Harpham will have at least 20 minutes to meet and talk with students face to face. As the associate provost, he will be receiving some of the applications to UTD, which Hayaud-Din acknowledged is a great way to “network with one of the decision-makers” for students who are hoping to attend UTD in the future.
The IPS events are free and open to the public in an effort to “elevate the profile of some of these major issues and bring them to the consciousness of not only our students but also the local community,” Hayaud- Din said.
Talks in the past have brought in attendees from many other cities around Farmers Branch, he said.
There will be two more IPS events this semester. The next event on March 25 will be “The Science of Climate Change,” and will connect with this year’s Open Book Project selection, “Global Weirdness.” The guest speaker will be a scientist from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The series will end with a bang, Hayaud-Din said. The final event of the semester will take place April 22 and focus on transnational insurgents. “When it comes to the phenomena of Islamic radicalism and violence … you’ve got to get the right person at the right time, so what we did was bring in a person who’s an expert in transnational insurgents,” he said.
Hayaud-Din also said he hopes his students take away more than just the topic being discussed.
“The knowledge that this gentleman has is the best of the best of the best,” he said. “When you leave Brookhaven, these are the kinds of people that you can interact with if you follow in the footsteps of political science. This is the level of inquiry, this is the amount of work that you put in, and it’s all very doable and accessible.”
IPS will host the event from noon to 1:30 p.m., Feb. 16, in Room K234.