Past Events

Here are some of the Lectures/Panel-Discussions we have sponsored in the past:

"Native Food Rights

 Lecture Series

(1) Peter David, Commission Biologist for the Great Lakes Indian
Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC)

"Respecting the Ricing Moon – A biologist’s thoughts on preserving the
Ojibwe’s relationship with Manoomin"

January 20th at 6:00 pm (SCC 120)

Abstract: The Ojibwe’s long and complex connectivity to manoomin (wild rice) is currently being tested by an array of biological, political and economic threats.  Preserving this unique relationship for future generations may hinge on our desire and commitment to preserve the abundance of manoomin on the regional landscape today. This lecture will provide an introduction on the Ojibwe’s historic and contemporary relationship with wild rice, review some of the threats and challenges facing contemporary wild rice stewardship, and look at some of the past restoration successes which can inform our way forward.

Peter David is a wildlife biologist with GLIFWC.  Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, he received BS and Master Degrees in Wildlife Ecology from UW-Madison before heading north to work for GLIFWC, which was only in its third year of existence at the time.  There his education in manoomin (wild rice) really began, spurred in large part by the tribal elders and ricers who shared their traditional ecological knowledge regarding this cultural and ecological treasure.  More than 25 years later his relationship with manoomin continues to expand, as a harvester, self- finisher, researcher, manager and steward of wild rice.

This Center event is cosponsored with UMD’s department of American Indian Studies (AIS) 

This event is funded by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation

Economic Inequality 


Panel Discussion 

December 3rd at 7:00 pm (Chem 200)

This fall the Center is conducting a panel discussion that will focus upon the moral and political issues associated with growing economic inequality. In particular, the panel will be investigating the following questions: (1) Is economic inequality growing; (2) Does the presence of economic inequality constitute an injustice; (3) Could extreme economic inequality undermine individual liberty; (4) Is economic inequality beneficial; (5) Would a truly free market lessen or increase economic inequality?

Panelists include:

1.  Joshua Preiss, Associate Professor and Director of the Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (PPE) Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato – His current research is in moral and political philosophy and the philosophy of economics, in particular, theories of equality, justice and personal responsibility, ethics and economics, freedom (including normative conceptions of free exchange), institutional approaches to diversity, and the philosophy of race, class, and gender. Preiss has presented at such institutions as the University of Chicago, Oxford University, the University of Minnesota, Roskilde University (Denmark), the University of Edinburgh, the University of Lisbon, Queens University Belfast, Utrecht University (Netherlands), Jesuit University in Krakow (Poland), Fatih University (Turkey), and the Winter Institute for Economics and Public Affairs. His work has appeared in such journals as Public Affairs QuarterlyEthicsBusiness Ethics QuarterlySocial Theory and PracticeRes Publica, the European Journal of Philosophy, and the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

2.  Steven Horwitz, Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University.  An Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA and a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, BC. --  He is the author of two books, Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000) and Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (Westview, 1992), and he has written extensively on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, and macroeconomics. In addition to several dozen articles in numerous professional journals, he has also done nationally recognized public policy work on the role of the private sector during Hurricane Katrina.  The author of numerous op-eds, Horwitz is also a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, and has a series of popular YouTube videos for the Learn Liberty series from the Institute for Humane Studies. He also blogs at “Coordination Problem” and “Bleeding Heart Libertarians.” He was awarded the Hayek Prize in 2010 by the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order for his work on the economics of the family among other contributions. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, Horwitz has spoken to professional, student, policymaker, and general audiences throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America. His current research is on the economics and social theory of the family, and he has a forthcoming book on the Hayek, the family, and classical liberalism, due out from Palgrave-Macmillan in 2015.

3.  Nikolai G. Wenzel, Wallace and Marion Reemelin Chair in Free-Market Economics  at Hillsdale College – Dr. Wenzel is a former Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department; he worked at the US Embassy in Mexico City, where he was vice consul and special assistant to the US ambassador. He later worked for various Washington, DC-area think tanks, including the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Mercatus Center, and the Institute for Humane Studies, while completing his doctoral coursework, and a dissertation on Argentina's failed constitution and economy. Since 2007, he has been teaching economics at Hillsdale College. Dr. Wenzel's research focuses on constitutional political economy and the institutions that promote human liberty and flourishing, with an emphasis on the role of ideology and culture, the history of ideas, and the work of Austrian economist F.A. Hayek. His work has been published in a dozen journals, including the Review of Austrian Economics, the Journal of Private Enterprise, and the Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Dr. Wenzel is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, sits on the Executive Committee of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, and teaches for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education. 

4.  Robert H. Frank, Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and Professor of Economics at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management and the co-director of the Paduano Seminar in business ethics at NYU’s Stern School of Business -- His “Economic View” column appears monthly in The New York Times. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Georgia Tech, then taught math and science for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Nepal. He holds an M.A. in statistics and a Ph.D. in economics, both from the University of California at Berkeley. His papers have appeared in the American Economic ReviewEconometricaJournal of Political Economy, and other leading professional journals. His books, which include Choosing the Right Pond, Passions Within Reason, Microeconomics and Behavior, Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke), Luxury FeverWhat Price the Moral High Ground?Falling BehindThe Economic NaturalistThe Darwin Economy, and Success and Luck, have been translated into 22 languages. The Winner-Take-All Society, co-authored with Philip Cook, received a Critic's Choice Award, was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, and was included in Business Week's list of the ten best books of 1995. He is a co-recipient of the 2004 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. He was awarded the Johnson School’s Stephen Russell Distinguished teaching award in 2004, 2010, and 2012, and its Apple Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005.

Funding for this project was provided by the Institute for Humane Studies through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.   

"Mass-Incarceration in the United States " 

 Lecture Series

(1) Becky Pettit

Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress

November 4th at 6:00 pm (SCC 120)

Abstract: For African American men without a high school diploma, being in prison or jail is more common than being employed—a sobering reality that calls into question post-Civil Rights era social gains. It is more common for black men to go to prison or jail for at least a year than to finish college or serve in the military. Incarceration is also deeply concentrated among those with low levels of education. Between one quarter and one third of black men can expect to spend at least a year in prison or jail and upwards of 60% of black men who’ve dropped out of high school spend at least a year behind bars. Point-in-time estimates show that more than 1 in 3 young black men who’ve dropped out of high school are currently incarcerated and young black men without a high school diploma are more likely to be incarcerated in prison or jail than they are to be employed. Invisible Men provides an eye-opening examination of how mass incarceration has concealed decades of racial inequality.

Becky Pettit is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas-Austin. She is a sociologist, trained in demographic methods, with interests in social inequality broadly defined.  She is the author of two books and numerous articles which have appeared in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of SociologyDemographySocial ProblemsSocial Forces and other journals. Her newest book, Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress (Russell Sage Foundation 2012) investigates how decades of growth in America's prisons and jails obscures basic accounts of racial inequality.  Her previous book, co-authored with Jennifer Hook of the University of Southern California, Gendered Tradeoffs: Family, Social Policy, and Economic Inequality in Twenty-One Countries (Russell Sage Foundation 2009) was selected as a Noteworthy Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics in 2010. 

Pettit has been the recipient of many honors and awards.  Her paper “Black-White Wage Inequality, Employment Rates, and Incarceration” (with Bruce Western of Harvard University) received the James Short paper award from the American Sociological Association Crime, Law, and Deviance Section.  Another paper “Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course:  Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration” (with Western) received Honorable Mention from the American Sociological Association Sociology of Law Section Article Prize Committee.  A related paper (also with Hook) was a finalist for the 2006 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research.  

This lecture is funded by the: 

We Know How this Ends: Living While Dying

Cathy Wurzer (MPR)

October 23rd at 12:00 pm (Bohannon Hall 90)

Cathy Wurzer is one of Minnesota’s most recognizable broadcast journalists with a career that spans both commercial and public radio and TV.  Since 2011 Bruce Kramer has been talking with Cathy Wurzer about his transformative journey with ALS on Minnesota Public Radio’s flagship news program, “Morning Edition.”  Cathy is a multiple Emmy Award winning journalist who is also the co-host of the longest running public affairs television show of its kind in the country: "Almanac" on Twin Cities Public Television. Prior, she was an anchor and reporter at the CBS station in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area; WCCO-TV and was also an announcer on WCCO Radio. She is a documentary filmmaker and author of an award winning book about the sites and secrets along U.S Highway 61. 

This event is cosponsored with Advance Care Planning - Northeast MN.

Minnesota Compassionate Care Act of 2015 (SF 1880): Should Minnesota Embrace a Right to Die

Panel Discussion 

October 9th at 6:00 pm (MonH 80)

The Center is sponsoring a panel discussion on whether Minnesota should adopt legislation that would allow some terminal patients to procure lethal medication from their doctor. Senator Chris Eaton has proposed legislation (SF 1880) that would allow the legalization of practices that are similar to the "Oregon Model." This panel will discuss some of the virtues and potential abuses of such a system.

Panelists include:

1. Senator Chris Eaton (Senate Majority Whip, author of the Minnesota Compassionate Care Act [SF 1880]) Senator Eaton is a registered nurse and a member of the Minnesota Nurses Association. She was Director of Health Services at Mental Health Resources from 2009 to 2012, and previously worked as a nurse at Ramsey County Mental Health Initiative from 1998 to 2008, and as a nurse and human services tech at Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center from 1991 to 1998.

2.   Kirk Allison (Program Director of the Program in Human Rights and Medicine -- University of Minnesota) Allison’s publications center on discussions of science and ideology, interdisciplinarity, and the concept of human dignity in relation to disability. His writing in these fields began with his Ph.D dissertation research at the Deutches Literaturarchiv in Marbach, Germany, in which he investigated the social location of physician-poet Gottfried Benn’s (1886-1956) medical specialties in relation to his literature and ethical relations to the Hippocratic ethical tradition; the confluence of eugenics, aesthetics, and politics. His interest with and involvement in the intersection between human rights and healthcare continued to deepen over the years, and in 2003 he served as a consultant for the Human Rights Library study guide “The Right to Means for Adequate Health.” In subsequent years collaborative projects have included investigations of the uninsured, and in 2004 produced a policy recommendation review for the Minneapolis Department of Health & Family Support and the Hennepin County Human Services & Public Health Department. A tireless and dedicated champion of human rights both at home and abroad, Professor Allison has also presented testimony to state legislative committees on topics such as “Genomics, Ethics and the Public Representation of Science” and “Stem Cell Research Policy: Is Ethics or Science Primary?” His recent research includes analysis of physician attitudes toward health care financing systems; studies of health care outcomes by institutional profile as well as epilepsy-related health disparities in the American Indian community; analysis of the relationship between human rights and health including with regard to disabilities; investigation of human rights and organ harvesting/procurement in China.

3. Jonathan R. Sande, MD (Ethics Program Director -- St. Mary's Medical Center) Dr. Sande is a graduate of St. Olaf College, and attended Mayo Medical School in Rochester, MN. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the Mayo College of Medicine, and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology. A former fellow in the Pew Program in Medicine, Arts, and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, he is currently a doctoral candidate in ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, a consultant in Hematology/Oncology at Essentia Health East, Director of the St. Mary's Medical Center Ethics Program, and Director of Essentia Health East Advance Care Planning.

4. David Mayo (Professor Emeritus – University of Minnesota, Duluth) Dr. Mayo, board member of the Death with Dignity National Center, was Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Associate of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He also served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Suicidology and of the Hemlock Sociey, co-authored Suicide: The Philosophical Issues. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Reed College, and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. He began teaching at the University of Minnesota in 1966 and became interested in bioethics in 1974, when he participated in a six week summer seminar in bioethics sponsored by the Council for Philosophical Studies. In 1985 he was a Visiting Exxon Fellow in Clinical Medical Ethics at the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. During leaves from his position at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Professor Mayo has taught at Macalester College in St. Paul, and at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and held Visiting Scholar appointments at both Macalester College and the School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. Mayo is widely published on the subjects of death and dying, Privacy, and AIDS.

"The Ethics of the Market" 

Classical Liberalism Lecture Series

(6) David Schmidtz   

"After Solipsism" 

What's the best way to help the poor?

September 10th at 5:00 pm (MonH 80)

David Schmidtz, Kendrick Professor at the University of Arizona -- He teaches in Philosophy and in Economics and holds a courtesy appointment in the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at Eller College of Management.  He is editor of Social Philosophy & Policy and is the Freedom Center's founding director. He is the author of Person, Polis, Planet (Oxford University Press, 2008), The Elements of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2006), A Brief History of Liberty, with Jason Brennan (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), Social Welfare & Individual Responsibility, with Robert Goodin (Cambridge University Press, 1998), and The Limits of Government: An Essay on the Public Goods Argument (Westview, 1991)

This lecture is funded by the:

(5) Jason Brennan

Why Not Capitalism?

April 30th at 5:00 pm (SCC 120)

Abstract: Most economists believe capitalism is a compromise with selfish human nature. As Adam Smith put it, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Capitalism works better than socialism, according to this thinking, only because we are not kind and generous enough to make socialism work. If we were saints, we would be socialists. In Why Not Capitalism?, Jason Brennan attacks this widely held belief, arguing that capitalism would remain the best system even if we were morally perfect. Even in an ideal world, private property and free markets would be the best way to promote mutual cooperation, social justice, harmony, and prosperity. Socialists seek to capture the moral high ground by showing that ideal socialism is morally superior to realistic capitalism. But, Brennan responds, ideal capitalism is superior to ideal socialism, and so capitalism beats socialism at every level.

Jason Brennan, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University -- He teaches courses in ethics, political economy, moral psychology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is the author of Why Not Capitalism? (Routledge Press, 2014), Compulsory Voting: For and Against, with Lisa Hill (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012), The Ethics of Voting (Princeton University Press, 2011), and, with David Schmidtz, A Brief History of Liberty (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). He is currently writing Markets without Limits (Routledge, under contract, with Peter Jaworski), and Against Politics (Princeton University Press, under contract).

This lecture is funded by the: 

(4) Eric Mack  

Self-Love, Social Cooperation, and Justice

April 9th at 5:00 pm (SCC 120) 

Abstract: This lecture, “Self-Love, Social Cooperation, and Justice,” focuses on really important insights about the relationship among these three elements of human life. This is a tragedy because these insights need to be appreciated if one is to understand how highly diverse individuals and communities can live together in freedom and prosperity. In this lecture, I want to develop the insights that I have in mind by telling a history of ideas story in which three important moral, political, and economic thinkers play a major role.  They are: the early 17th century Dutchman, Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) and two 18th century Scottish thinkers, David Hume (1711-1776) and Adam Smith (1723-1790).   At the end, I will tip my hat to the 20th century Austrian (and Austrian-refugee) thinker, F.A. Hayek (1899-1992).  The closest thing to a villain in my story is the purportedly great liberal thinker, John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).

Erick Mack, Professor at Tulane University and Member of the Murphy Institute of Political Economy – He has written a book on John Locke’s political thought, entitled John Locke. Mack has also edited two works affiliated with 19th century radical libertarian (and anarchist) thought -- Herbert Spencer's The Man vs.The State and Auberon Herbert's The Right and Wrong of Compulsion and Other Essays.

This lecture is funded by the:  

(3) Matt Zwolinski

"Exploitation, Neglect, and the Psychology of Moral Judgment:  Why you’re probably worse than a price gouger, and why you probably don’t believe it."

April 1st at 5:00 pm (SCC 120) 

AbstractMost of us think that sweatshops and price gougers are morally bad. We think sweatshops are bad because they exploit workers who often have few other options for escaping poverty. And price gougers exploit victims of natural disaster - taking unfair advantage of their vulnerability in order to line their own profits. We like to think we’re better than that. But the fact is that sweatshops and price gougers often do more good for people in desperate situations than we do. So should we really feel so confident about our moral superiority? Or are we just fooling ourselves?

Matt Zwolinski, Associate Professor at the University of San Diego – He is the co-director of USD's Institute for Law and Philosophy, and the founder of (and frequent contributor to) the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog. His books include Arguing About Political Philosophy (Routledge 2014) and A Brief History of Libertarianism, with John Tomasi (under contract with Princeton University Press)

This lecture is funded by the:

(2) Loren Lomasky 

"Milking the Young"

March 27th at 5:00 pm (LSBE 118)

Abstract: Philosophers are much concerned with issues of injustice. Vast literatures address wrongful incursions committed along lines of race, gender, sexual preference, religion and, of course, economic class. Comparatively little attention has been paid to impositions across generational lines, and where such unfairness has been invoked the story is often gotten backwards (“ageism”). This paper argues that during the preceding half century increased burdens have been placed on young cohorts for the direct benefit of the old, that almost every major social policy in recent years has further disadvantaged the young, and that this is not only an American problem but one that pervades the developed world. These injustices can be understood as failures of reciprocity, non-imposition, and democratic accountability. Unlike other perceived injustices, this one shows itself uniquely resistant to redress through liberal democratic means. It concludes by arguing that this immunity to melioration is not accidental but rather that the root cause of milking the young is contemporary liberal democracy itself.

Loren Lomasky, Cory Professor of Political Philosophy, Policy and Law, and Director of the Political Philosophy, Policy and Law Program at the University of Virginia -- Professor Lomasky is best known for his work in moral and political philosophy. His book Persons, Rights, and the Moral Community (Oxford University Press, 1987) established his reputation as a leading advocate of a rights-based approach to moral and social issues. He co-authored with G. Brennan  (Cambridge University Press, 1993) and co-edited with G. Brennan Politics and Process: New Essays in Democratic Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1989). Lomasky has been the recipient of many awards including the 1991 Matchette Prize for his book Persons, Rights, and the Moral Community.

This lecture is funded by the: 

(1) Roderick Long  

"How (and Why) to Be a Free-Market Radical Leftist."

February 27th at 5:00 pm (LSBE 118)

Roderick T. Long, Professor at Auburn University – President of the Molinari Institute and Molinari Society; a Senior Fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society; a Senior Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute; editor of The Industrial Radical and Molinari Review; co-editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies and Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?; co-founder of the Alliance of the Libertarian Left; author of Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand (2000) and Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action (forthcoming from Routledge); a member of the boards of the Free Nation Foundation and the Libertarian Nation Foundation, and of the advisory boards of the the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom and the Institute for Objectivist Studies; past member of the board of the Foundation for a Democratic Society; past editor of the Journal of Libertarian Studies and Formulations; and past president of the Alabama Philosophical Society.  Long received his philosophical training at Harvard (A.B. 1985) and Cornell (Ph.D. 1992) and has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan. 

This lecture is funded by the:

"Kill or No-Kill"

Panel Discussion 

April 16th at 5:00 PM  (Montague Hall 70)

This spring the Center is conducting a panel discussion on the appropriateness of euthanizing hard to adopt animals. This Kill/No-Kill discussion will address some of the following questions: (1) Are healthy animals being needlessly killed? (2) Are “No-Kill” shelters truly more humane than “Kill” shelters … or … is the opposite true? (3) Is having a persistent Kill/No-Kill conflict counterproductive to the animal welfare movement? (4) What are the reasons for euthanizing animals?

The CEPP will host a panel discussion equally representing both sides of this important and contentious issue. The goal is to create an open discussion in which many sides can exchange ideas/concerns in a respectful atmosphere.  

The Panel:

(1) Betsy Bode, Shelter Program Manager for the Animal Allies Humane Society (AAHS) -- AAHS strives to ensure a lifetime of loving care for every pet by reducing overpopulation, increasing adoption, and fostering humane values.

(2) Chris Maddox, Board Member and Bully Breed Coordinator, Ruff Start Rescue – Ruff Start Rescue is one of the largest nonprofit, No-Kill, 501c3 rescue organization in Minnesota focused on saving stray, neglected, abandoned and surrendered companion dogs and cats, as well as ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits. Chris has been an animal advocate for 15 years and became involved with Ruff Start Rescue in June of 2013. He has been a part of many different areas within the rescue including volunteering and fostering, running adoption events, intake coordinating, home visits, and transports. Chris currently serves as a Board Member and manager of the rescue’s Bully Breed Program. 

(3) Mike Fryanimal advocate, public speaker, educator and blogger -- He was the Executive Director of Animal Ark, Minnesota's largest no kill animal welfare organization. He was also the co-host of the weekly, syndicated Animal Wise Radio program. Fry has worked in the field of animal welfare for more than 20 years.

(4) Janelle Dixon, President/CEO of the Animal Humane Society -- Dixon is engaged on a national level in the animal welfare industry. She serves as board chair of the National Federation of Humane Societies and as board member and treasurer for Shelter Animals Count. Additionally, Dixon serves on the Companion Animal Advisory Council for HSUS and is a member of the Society of Animal welfare Administrators.

"Homelessness in Minnesota"

Liz KuoppalaExecutive Director, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless

December 4th at 6:00 pm (LSBE 118)

Liz has been at the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless in various capacities since 2001. Before joining MCH, Liz did brief stints as a locomotive engineer in the mines and as a staffer in Senator Paul Wellstone’s D.C. office. She is the 2008 recipient of the League of Minnesota Cities’ Women in City Government Outstanding Leadership Award for her work in leadership development while serving as an Eveleth City Councilor (2007-2010), the 2009 recipient of the Ann Bancroft Dream Maker Award for Leadership and Achievement for her work in recruiting and training rural women to run for elected office, the 2011 recipient of the Simpson Housing Services Champion Award for her advocacy work. Liz holds a certificate in Sociology from Reisjarven Opisto in Finland, a B.S. in Chemistry from St. Cloud State University and a Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

"Minnesota, Alcohol & Blue Laws"

Panel Discussion 

November 13th at 5:00 pm (Weber Music Hall)

The Center is sponsoring a panel discussion on whether we should remove Minnesota’s alcohol related blue laws.  A blue law is a category of law that regulates shopping on Sunday. These laws, initially, were designed to restrict or ban shopping for religious standards – such as the observance of a day of worship or rest.  Minnesota, currently, is one of twelve states that do not permit liquor stores from selling alcohol on Sunday.   

Panelists include:

1. Representative Joe Atkins: (DFL) District 52B -- He previously served as the mayor of Inver Grove Heights from 1992–2002. In his first term in the House, Atkins was selected by the bipartisan editors of Politics in Minnesota magazine as their First-Term Legislator of the Year. Since that time, Atkins has garnered a dozen similar honors from a wide variety of professional, business and labor organizations. 

2. Andrew Schmitt: Executive Director, Minnesota Beer Activists (MBA) – MBA’s mission is to represent consumer interests through active engagement in education, legislation, and community participation regarding beer, wine, and spirits in Minnesota.  MBA supports any alcohol related issue deemed beneficial to consumers. This may include issues related to: home brewing, on-sale and off-sale, distilling, and wine.

3. Senator Roger J. Reinert: (DFL) District 07 -- Reinert began his political career when he was appointed to the Duluth City Council on January 12, 2004, filling the seat vacated by Herb Bergson, who had been elected mayor. He served as council president in 2006 and 2008. Reinert previously served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives representing District 7B. He was a member of the House Taxes Committee, and also served on the Finance subcommittees for the Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division, the Public Safety Finance Division, and the Transportation Finance and Policy Division.

4. Scott Neal: Edina City Manager -- Neal began work as Edina City Manager in 2010. Prior to joining the City staff, he served as City Manager of Eden Prairie since 2002. He has also held the positions of City Administrator for the communities of Northfield, Minn.; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; and Norris, Tenn.

"Spacesuits, Secret Serums, and Panic: What the

Ebola Outbreak Tells Us about Global Health Governance"

Jeremy Youde, Associate Professor of Political Science

October 2nd at 6:00 pm (LSBE 118)

Abstract: “More people have contracted Ebola during the current West African outbreak than in all known previous outbreaks. With its seemingly unprecedented spread and effects, what are the larger lessons we can draw from the Ebola outbreak? In this talk, I want to focus on three topics in particular. First, what role can and should quarantine and isolation play in addressing infectious disease outbreaks? Second, what are the ethical issues around pharmaceutical access and the use of untested medical treatments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa? Third, what does the outbreak tell us about the international community's ability to respond to disease outbreaks around the world?”

Jeremy Youde joined UMD in 2008 after teaching in California and Iowa. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa in 2005. He teaches courses in comparative politics and international relations, and his research focuses on global health politics and African politics.

"Debate for Minnesota 7A"

October 9th at 7:00 pm (Chem 200)

This October the Center is sponsoring a moderated debate between the candidates running for House Seat 7A. As the Election rapidly approaches, please join the candidates as they share their ideas for the future of Minnesota.


~~~Participating Candidates ~~~

Jennifer Schultz                        

DFL Candidate



Green Party Candidate

Republican Candidate

"The Right Ways to Hunt"

October 23rd at 6:00 pm (Chem 200)

Panel Discussion 

This fall the Center is conducting a panel discussion on good and bad hunting practices. For example -- (1) What are the morally acceptable ways to hunt; (2) What role does such hunting play in responsible environmental management; (3) What are the improper ways to go about hunting; etc.... These questions are particularly apt given the limited deer harvest recently announced by the DNR.

Panelists include:

1. Sam Cook: has been a writer/columnist with the Duluth News Tribune for 32 years. He writes the column -- "Outdoors with Sam Cook." His books include: (1) Moving Waters: Adventures on Northern Rivers; (2) Up North; (3) Friendship Fires; (4) Quiet Magic (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)

2. Michael Furtman: is a Duluth outdoors writer and wildlife photographer who has written for Ducks
 and contributed stories for many magazines, including the DNR's Conservation Volunteer magazine.

3. Becca Kent: is the Chapter Coordinator of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. Over the last 30 years MDHA has improved upon and developed its mission of “working for tomorrow’s wildlife and hunters today.” With 62 chapters and over 15,000 members throughout the state, MDHA works in Minnesota for Minnesota through four main tenets which include hunting, habitat, education and legislation.

4. Rich Staffon: is a retired DNR area wildlife manager from Cloquet and the president of the Izaak Walton League in Duluth.

5. James E. Zorn:  is the Executive Administrator of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), an agency of eleven Ojibwe tribes located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Formed in 1984, GLIFWC exercises delegated authority to assist its member Tribes in the implementation and protection of hunting, fishing, and gathering rights reserved in various land cession treaties with the United States. Prior to assuming his leadership role as Executive Administrator, Zorn served as the agency’s lead attorney/policy analyst from 1987 to 2006. Before joining GLIFWC’s staff, he served as tribal attorney for the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. 

"A Minnesota Without Poverty: Working Toward Enough for All"

Rev. Nancy E. MaekerExecutive Director (retired), A Minnesota Without Poverty

November 6th at 6:00 pm (LSBE 118)

Rev. Nancy E. Maeker -- Executive Director (retired) at A Minnesota Without Poverty (AMWP), a statewide movement to end poverty in Minnesota by 2020. Her work with AMWP focuses on convening and leading a collaborative process to implement the recommendations of the Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota, and to build the public and political will to end poverty. Previously she served as Dean of Students at Luther Seminary (1991-2000), Pastor for Community Ministries at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis (2000-2002), and Bishop’s Associate in the Saint Paul Area Synod-ELCA  (2002-2008). She has degrees from Texas Lutheran University (BA), Wartburg Seminary (MDiv), University of Texas at Austin (MMus), and Luther Seminary (DMin).  She is the co-author of Ending Poverty: A 20/20 Vision (2006).  

“Making Peace with the Earth”

Dr. Vandana Shiva

April 8th at 6:00 pm (Kirby Ballroom)

Dr. Shiva will be making the argument that wars against the earth become wars against people, and that sustainable use of resources is the way toward peace and justice.

Dr. Shiva is the foremost ecofeminist scholar and activist in the world.  Trained as a physicist, she received her PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 1978.  She is the author of more than 20 books, including Staying AliveEcofeminismSoil not Oil;  Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and PeaceWater Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and ProfitStolen Harvest: Hijacking the World’s Food Supply; and her most recent Making Peace with the Earth.  She is the founder of Navdanya, a national movement in India to promote the protection of native seed, organic farming, and fair trade practices.  She has served on several governmental and international advisory committees, including the Women’s Environment and Development Organization.  She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Right Livelihood Award: “The Alternative Nobel Prize.”

The lecture is to be free and open to the public.

"Constitution Week Event: Voter ID, How Does it Impact Your Voice?"

Panel Discussion 

September 17th at 6:00 pm (LSci 175)

The Center is co-sponsoring (with UMD’s Office of Civic Engagement) a panel discussion on recent bouts with various voter ID laws and their potential (allegedly) of suppressing the vote.  This is particularly apt given the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Voting Rights Act.  As some southern states now try to push ahead with such ID laws (similar to the amendment that failed to pass, here, in Minnesota), it is important to talk about these issues.

The panel:

1. Ian Zuckerman (UMD Political Science) received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2012. His areas of specialization are early modern political thought and constitutional theory. He is also interested in democratic theory, and inequality. Dr. Zuckerman’s research has appeared in the journal Constellations, among other venues.

2. Jeremy Schroeder is the executive director of Common Cause Minnesota  -- Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public.

3. Laura Fredrick Wang was the Executive Director of League of Women Voters, Minnesota (Jan. 2011-June 2013). Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Wang served as the Public Policy Coordinator. She was the LWV Minnesota representative to the coalition that advanced the state-wide campaign against the Voter ID amendment and served on the campaign’s executive committee. Wang is a graduate of Metropolitan State University and is currently a Masters in Public Affairs candidate at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. She has worked previously in public policy and community organizing in the non-profit sector, for federal, state, and city government, as well as managing political campaigns.

4.   Dan McGrath is the president of Minnesota Majority, a conservative advocacy group which lobbied in favor of a bill to put a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo ID.

"Preferences for Health Care at the End of Life: Rural-Urban Differences"

Charles Gessert, MD, MPH

Senior Research Scientist (Retired),  Essentia Institute of Rural Health 

October 24th at 6:00 PM (SCC 120)

"Health care decisions are personal decisions, reflecting individual values and goals.  Or are they?  Why do people from different communities pursue different health care goals?  What can research on rural-urban differences in end-of-life care teach us about the care that we will want late in life?"

Dr. Gessert served on the Duluth Clinic Foundation’s Board of Trustees and has served on the Ethics Steering Committee and Ethics Subcommittee for Clinical Consultation at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Dr. Gessert also teaches ethics to medical students at the UMD Medical School. 

In 2012, Dr. Gessert received the Lake Superior Medical Society’s Arthur Aufderheide Scientific Award, given in recognition of outstanding scientific achievements. He has had an extraordinary career in medical research, with more than 80 publications in professional journals to his credit.

Selected Publications:

Gessert CE, Haller IV, Johnson BP. Regional Variation in Care at the End of Life: Discontinuation of Dialysis. BMC Geriatr 2013.

Lutfiyya MN, Gessert CE, Lipsky MS. Nursing Home Quality: A Comparative Analysis Using CMS Nursing Home Compare Data to Examine Differences Between Rural and Nonrural Facilities. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013 Aug;14(8):593-8.

Gessert CE, Haller IV.  Medicare Hospital Charges in the Last Year of Life: Distribution by Quarter for Rural and Urban Nursing Home Decedents With Cognitive Impairment.   Journal of Rural Health Spring 2008; 24:154-160.

Gessert CE, Haller IV. Rural-Urban Differences in Medical Care for Nursing Home Residents with Severe Dementia at the End of Life. (Response Letter) J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 March; 55(3): 471-473.

Gessert CE, Haller IV, Kane RL, Degenholtz H. Rural-Urban Differences in Medical Care for Nursing Home Residents with Severe Dementia at the End of Life. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Aug; 54(8): 1199-1205.

Gessert CE.  Rurality and Suicide (Letter).  Am J Pub Health 2003; 93(5): 698.

Gessert CE, Elliott BA, Haller IV.  Dying of old age.  J Am Geriatr Soc 2002; 50(9): 1561-1565.

"Medical Marijuana in Minnesota"

Panel Discussion 

November 11th at 6:00 pm (Bohannon Hall 90)

This Fall the Center is conducting a panel discussion on the legalization of medical marijuana in Minnesota. Twenty states and the District of Columbia already allow seriously ill residents to use medical marijuana with their doctors’ recommendations. The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up year one of the 2013-2014 session with the introduction of medical marijuana legislation. Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) introduced HF 1818 in the House, and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced the companion – SF 1641 – in the Senate.

The panel:


1.  Rep. Carly Melin is a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), she represents District 6A, which includes portions of the Iron Range in Itasca and St. Louis counties in the northeastern part of the state. Melin received a B.S. in political science from Bemidji State University and a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law. After graduating, she returned to the Iron Range to practice law, accepting a position with the Minnesota State Judiciary. Melin introduced HF 1818, a bill that would allow people with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

2.   Heather Azzi is the political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care. MCC is a group of organizations, medical professionals, patients and concerned citizens working to protect people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses from arrest and imprisonment for using medical marijuana with their physicians' advice.

3.   Rep. Bob Barrett is a member of the Republican Party of Minnesota; he represents District 32B, which includes portions of Chisago County just north of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Barrett graduated from Mankato State University in Mankato, receiving his B.A. in accounting in 1989. Active in his community, he served on the Chisago Lakes School District Finance Team, and was also a school district mentor.

4.   Cody Wiberg, Pharm.D., M.S., R.Ph. is the executive director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy exists to protect the public from adulterated, misbranded, and illicit drugs, and from unethical or unprofessional conduct on the part of pharmacists or other licensees, and to provide a reasonable assurance of professional competency in the practice of pharmacy by enforcing the Pharmacy Practice Act M.S. 151, State Controlled Substances Act M.S. 152 and various other statutes. The Board regulates pharmacists, pharmacies, pharmacy technicians, controlled substance researchers, drug wholesalers and drug manufactures. The Board approves licenses or registrations for these individuals or businesses, and also decides when to impose disciplinary action.

"How We Ration, Value and Commercialize Health Care in the U.S."

Jennifer Schultz, PhD
Associate Professor, UMD Department of Economics

Director, Health Care Management Program

Labovitz School of Business and Economics

November 21st at 6:00pm  (SCC 120)

"How we value and ration health care services in the U.S. should be a greater social concern than income distribution issues. This is because medical care can be viewed as a basic human right or entitlement. In the U.S. rationing of health care services is by ability to pay rather than by need. This is in stark contrast to other developed countries where rationing is based on need for health care services that are financed by ability to pay. The economic model of using willingness to pay to infer value is likely flawed in health care, yet economists have been very influential in health policy reform. We are now embarking on an era where the focus will be reducing the cost growth in the health care sector. The reductions of public subsidies and employer-based health insurance will likely put additional financial burdens on households. This presentation will focus on issues and ethics involved with how we value, ration and commercialize health care and what this means for working Americans."

Dr. Schultz is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Director of the Health Care Management Program. Her fields of research include health economics, pharmacoeconomics, and health policy. She is currently evaluating the effects of health insurance benefit costs on demand for full-time and part-time labor and retirement decisions; the effects of social capital on health in the U.S.; and taxation of unhealthy foods and purchasing behavior. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Schultz was a faculty member at Cornell University where she analyzed consumer decision-making in health care, use of health care information, and perceptions of quality differences across health care providers. Dr. Schultz’s previous research has also included an evaluation of consumer driven health care (a health care purchasing arrangement by large employers), an investigation of the selection of health care provider groups by employees and families to determine their sensitivity to price and quality measures, and an empirical analysis of risk redefinition. As a research consultant for Ingenix, UnitedHealth Group, she analyzed health care utilization and costs for a variety of health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, bipolar disorder, hyperlipidemia, cancer, migraine, and asthma. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her M.A. in Economics from Washington State University. She has published articles in the Journal of Health Economics, Health Services Research, Medical Care, American Journal of Managed Care, and Milbank Quarterly and has presented research at academic and professional conferences.

"Minnesota's Minimum Wage"

Panel Discussion

February 21st at 6:00 pm (Chem 200)

Due to poor weather, this event has been cancelled. 

This Spring the Center (with the assistance of MPIRG) is conducting a panel discussion on raising Minnesota’s minimum wage. The Minnesota House (on May 3rd, 2013) passed the Minimum Wage Bill, HF 92, on a 68 to 62 vote. It sought to raise the minimum wage for large employers to $8.00 in 2013, $9.00 in 2014 and $9.50 in 2015. The Minnesota Senate also passed 
a minimum wage bill, on a 39 to 28 vote. Under the Senate bill, however, the rate goes up to only $7.75 by 2015. Many questions remain. Should Minnesota raise the minimum wage? And if so, by how much? Will raising the minimum wage actually help the poor? The CEPP will host a panel discussion with various experts to provide information and context to this important and contentious issue. The goal is to create an open discussion in which many sides can exchange ideas/concerns in a respectful atmosphere.

The Panel:

(1) Ben Gerber -- Manager of energy policy and labor/management policy, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. He joined the organization in January 2012. He represents the Chamber’s energy interests at both the Legislature and the Public Utilities Commission. Gerber was an oil and gas attorney and handled Fredrikson & Byron’s government relations operation in North Dakota, focusing on mining, energy and tax legislation. His Minnesota experience includes time spent at a Minneapolis government relations office, and public policy and legal work for National Wind, LLC, a large-scale community wind developer. Gerber graduated from William Mitchell College of law cum laude in 2010 and was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar Association. 

(2) Dan McElroy -- President and CE0, Hospitality Minnesota He came to Hospitality Minnesota from state government, where he served as Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development and previously as Governor Tim Pawlenty's Chief of Staff as well as Commissioner of Finance. Dan has years of experience as an elected official, including city council member (1983-87) and mayor (1987-1995) in Burnsville, as well as a state representative (1995-2003). While known for his work in the public sector, Dan also has experience in the private sector that includes serving as CEO for Travel Agency Management Solutions, Inc., president of Mainline Travel, and Chief Financial Officer of Travel Professionals.

(3) Rep. Ryan Winkler (District 46A) -- Rep. Winkler’s committee assignments include: Civil Law, Data Practices, Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy, Elections, Government Operations, Higher Education Finance and Policy, Living Wage Jobs (Chair). He was the chief author of HF 92 (which was passed on May 3rd, 2013) which sought to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2015. 

(4) Rev. Nancy E. Maeker -- Executive Director at A Minnesota Without Poverty (AMWP), a statewide movement to end poverty in Minnesota by 2020. Her work with AMWP focuses on convening and leading a collaborative process to implement the recommendations of the Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota, and to build the public and political will to end poverty. Previously she served as Dean of Students at Luther Seminary (1991-2000), Pastor for Community Ministries at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis (2000-2002), and Bishop’s Associate in the Saint Paul Area Synod-ELCA  (2002-2008). She has degrees from Texas Lutheran University (BA), Wartburg Seminary (MDiv), University of Texas at Austin (MMus), and Luther Seminary (DMin).  She is the co-author of Ending Poverty: A 20/20 Vision (2006).  

"American Politics in the Age of Ignorance" 
David Schultz, PhD, JD, LLM
Professor, Hamline University, Political Science
March 6th at 6:00 pm (SCC 120)

On March 6th, the Center for Ethics and Public Policy will sponsor a public lecture by David SchultzHe will discuss findings from one of his most recent books, American Politics in the Age of Ignorance.

Abstract: “State and local governments are often trumpeted as laboratories of democracy, capable of significant policy innovation and expertise. Yet the reality is that states more often than not repeatedly reenact failed policies that past research shows do not work. American Politics in the Age of Ignorance contends that policy making is shrouded in many myths and that policy makers often ignore ample research and evidence when it comes to legislating on a range of issues. Examining such hot button issues as restricting immigration and welfare migration, seeking to lure businesses with tax breaks, and providing public subsidies for sports stadiums, this book catalogs a list of repeatedly enacted failed policies that public officials advocate, offering a critical and skeptical analysis of the policy process.”

David Schultz is a nationally recognized expert in government, nonprofit, and business ethics, campaign finance reform, land use and eminent domain policy, law and politics, and the media and politics who has been extensively quoted in news sources such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, Cox News Service, and National Public Radio. He is the editor for five book series with Peter Lang Publishing and M.E. Sharpe as well as author and editor of 25 books, 12 legal treatises, and over 100 articles. His most recent publications include American Politics in the Age of Ignorance (Palgrave 2012), The Encyclopedia of  American Law and Criminal Justice  (Facts on File, Inc. 2012) and Andromeda Galaxy and the Rise of Modern Astronomy (Springer, 2012). Professor Schultz is editor in chief for JPAE, The Journal of Public Affairs Education, and he sits on the editoral boards of The Journal of Public Integrity  and Social Sciences Studies. He was the past president and executive director for Common Cause Minnesota; he has worked as a housing and economic planner for an Office of Economic Opportunity agency; helped in the drafting of the new 8th edition of the Model City Charter for the National Civil League; and participated in three amicus briefs before the United States Supreme Court regarding campaign finance reform. Besides teaching classes in government ethics, housing and economic development, privatization, and the foundation of public administration, Professor Schultz also holds appointments in the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science where he teaches criminal justice and criminology, and in several local law schools where he offers classes in state and local law, legal ethics, election law, and state constitutional law.

"Documentary as New Monument: 'Comfort Women' and Japan's National History"

Dr. Mariko Izumi, Associate Professor, Columbus State University

April 2nd at 11:00 am (LSBE 265)

This essay examines documentary films that (re)present former “comfort women,” the victims of the sexual atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese imperial military during the Asia-Pacific War (1930-1945).  We will explore the question: In what ways do these documentaries seek to create a space for articulating the unspeakable, that is, to render memories of suffering meaningful? 

Dr. Izumi works in the areas of rhetorical criticism and history, cultural studies, and critical Asian studies. Her research explores the intersection of ethics and politics, especially the ways in which a nation remembers its wartime past, how such memories travel across generations as well as national borders, and how such communicative processes shape the discursive formation of humanitarian agendas in international politics. 


"Your Treaty Rights: Indian Nations, Federalisms, and Policy Possibilities."

Joseph Bauerkemper

Assistant Professor, UMD's Department of American Indian Studies

April 23rd at 6:00 pm (MWAH 195)

Dr. Joseph Bauerkemper will give a presentation that considers past patterns, present shifts, and future trajectories of public policy regarding American Indian affairs through the lens of treaty relations and rights. Dr. Bauerkemper will weave together thoughts regarding federated sovereignties, il/liberalism, settler colonialism, Native activism burgeoning at present, and current specific policy efforts cutting across tribal, state, and federal governance.


Joseph Bauerkemper is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth where his scholarship, outreach, and teaching emphasize politics, literature, and law. He has publihed in Studies in American Indian LiteraturesAmerican StudiesJournal of Transnational American Studies, and the edited collections Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art andSeeing Red - Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins. Joseph has forthcoming work in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal and the Oxford Handbook on North American Indigenous Literatures, and he is preparing his manuscript Trans/National Narrations: Native Writing, Unsettled Histories, and Ethical Polity for publication. Before joining the UMD faculty, Joseph earned his PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, enjoyed one year at the University of Illinois as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in American Indian Studies, and enjoyed two years at UCLA as an Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English and in the program for the study of Cultures in Transnational Perspective.

"Minnesota Wolf Hunt"
Panel Discussion 
October 5th at 6:00 pm (Bohannon Hall 90)

Minnesota's wolves transitioned from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act to state management by the Minnesota DNR on Jan. 27, 2012. As authorized by the Minnesota Legislature and governor, the state will implement its first-ever wolf season (hunting and trapping) in the fall of 2012. There have been numerous concerns as to the ethical and prudential ramifications (i.e., wolf management) regarding this hunt. The CEPP will host a panel discussion with various experts to provide information and context to this important and contentious issue. The goal is to create an op en discussion in which many sides can exchange ideas/concerns in a respectful atmosphere

The panel:

1. L. David Mech: a Senior Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. Mech is also founder and vice chair of the International Wolf Center, and chair of the IUCN Wolf Specialist Group. His books include: (1) Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation; (2) The Wolves of Minnesota: Howl in the Heartland; (3) The Wolves of Denali; (3) The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years With the Pack; (4) Wolves of the High Arctic; (5) The Way of the Wolf; (6) The Arctic Wolf: Living With the Pack; (7)  A Handbook of Animal Radio-Tracking; (8) The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species; (9) The Wolves of Isle Royale.

2. Sam Cook: He has been a writer/columnist with the Duluth News Tribune for 32 years. He writes the column -- "Outdoors with Sam Cook". His books include: (1) Moving Waters: Adventures on Northern Rivers; (2) Up North; (3) Friendship Fires; (4) Quiet Magic (Outdoor Essays & Reflections)

3. Mark Johnson: Executive Director, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. Over the last 30 years MDHA has improved upon and developed its mission of “working for tomorrow’s wildlife and hunters today.” With 65 chapters and nearly 20,000 members throughout the state, MDHA works in Minnesota for Minnesota through four main tenets which include hunting, habitat, education and legislation.

4. Howard Goldman: Minnesota Senior State Director, The Humane Society. He has been an animal advocate for more than 30 years and The HSUS's Minnesota senior state director since 2008. Before joining The HSUS, he directed a wildlife-protection group focused on banning leghold traps and protecting gray wolves, black bears, lynx, and bobcats. Under Goldman's direction, the group successfully banned or restricted trapping in 30 Minnesota communities, and helped defeat legislation to establish a greyhound racetrack.

5. Maureen Hackett: Founder, Howling for Wolves --- Howling for Wolves was created to be a voice for wild wolves. It aims to educate the public about Minnesota’s wolf population and let people know how they can take action to keep wild wolves in a self-sustaining existence. The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves filed a lawsuit on 9/18 against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources challenging the agency’s failure to provide a formal opportunity for public comment on recently approved rules establishing wolf hunting and trapping.

"End of Life Care Planning In Minnesota: Issues and Complications"
Barbara Elliot 
Professor, UMD Medical School
November 14th at 5:00 pm (SCC 120)

Dr. Elliot will speak about various complications regarding end-of-life planning in the Northland.  In particular, she will focus upon, POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment), DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders, Advance Directives and Proxy Consent. 

Barbara Elliott is Professor of Family Medicine on the Duluth campus where she teaches ethics, the health issues of family violence, and spirituality and health care. She is also trained and works as a hospital chaplain.

Dr. Elliott's research investigates the health care needs and outcomes of those with limited access to health care, and has contributed to the health and well being of youth and adults in Minnesota. Her program of research has documented the personal, social and medical outcomes of extending access to health care to the under-served. She has had continuous grant support since 1984 for her research and its dissemination.

In recent years, Dr. Elliott's major focus has been on the health and needs of adolescents, but her research has investigated outcomes in a range of settings, addressing health issues of children and adults a) in rural settings, b) living with violence, c) living on tribal lands, d) of families of teen parents, e) of adolescents who live independently of their families, f) of people living at the end of life, and g) of patients with dementia and their family caregivers. In the last several years 

she has begun developing research efforts more focused in the spirituality and health area, and looks forward to continuing to integrate these ideas into future efforts. The granted awards over the past decade have come from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HRSA (Maternal Child Health Bureau), National Cancer Institute, the Minnesota Departments of Children, Families and Learning and of Economic Security, the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinics Fund, and local foundations. She has been Principal Investigator for essentially all of these grants

"Moral Perspectives on Armed Humanitarian Intervention"

on Scheid, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Winona State University

November 28th at 5:00 pm (SCC 120)

"The subject of the talk is 'armed humanitarian intervention' (AHI), or 'humanitarian military intervention.' 

Two prominent (if somewhat controversial) examples are: (i) the NATO intervention in 1999 to stop the Serbian ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo, a province of the former Yugoslavia, and (ii) the more recent NATO intervention in Libya (2011) that helped oust the dictator Muammar Gaddafi. 

The main body of the talk offers an exploration of the possible moral foundations of AHI and one or two of its problems and moral limitations. 

The subject of AHI is relevant to broader questions about the legitimate use of force and the role of the State."

Professor Don E.Scheid  undertook graduate studies in Philosophy at New York University. 

After completing a dissertation on theories of legal punishment, under the chairmanship of Prof. Joel Feinberg, Scheid received his Ph.D. in 1977. 

A one-year teaching fellowship at Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine) followed.   He then taught for two years at the University of Illinois, in Champaign/Urbana. He left Illinois to attended law school at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City).  While in law school, he also taught as an adjunct professor with the Philosophy Department there.  He received his J.D. degree in 1984. 

From Utah, he moved to Minnesota to become chair of the Philosophy Dept. at Winona State 

University.  Among other initiatives, he organized and developed a special, interdisciplinary program, “War, Peace and Terrorism.”  Professor  Scheid recently retired, after teaching for almost 25 years at Winona State

Professor Scheid edited --  Ethics and Foreign Intervention (Cambridge, 2003)He has articleregarding the philosophy of criminal law, appearing in -- e.g., Public Affairs Quarterly, Law and Philosophy, and Ethics.  Also, Scheid is a member of the ethics committee at Community Memorial Hospital.

"On the Criminal Culpability of Successful and Unsuccessful Psychopaths"
Katrina Sifferd, J.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Elmhurst College
November 30th at 2:00 pm (ABAH 235)


Psychopaths have been deemed by some philosophers to be less criminally responsible than other offenders because they lack personhood , moral knowledge , or rationality . However, the criminal courts do not generally consider psychopathy to be an excusing condition. By some estimates there are half a million psychopaths currently in US prisons . Some juries are even willing to apply the highest level of culpability and punishment to psychopaths: In 2010, an Illinois jury sentenced murderer James Dugan to death, despite hearing clear psychological and neuroscientific evidence that he was a psychopath. Although in the Dugan case, psychopathy was offered as a mitigating factor, interviews with career capital defense attorneys suggest that evidence of psychopathy is usually seen as an aggravating factor.

The disagreement regarding the culpability of psychopaths appears to be grounded in a related dispute about the cognitive capacities necessary for criminal culpability. Although many psychopaths tend to have normal, or even slightly above normal, IQs, they are said to suffer from an inability to experience social or "moral" emotions, including empathy. It has been argued that this inability to feel for their victims means psychopaths don't have access to certain reasons not to act. However, autistic persons suffer similar deficits and they do not tend to commit anti-social acts. Indeed, they are less likely than the average person to be entangled in the criminal justice system. Because autistics are not likely to commit crimes, and are generally not considered exempt from criminal responsibility, deficits in empathy alone cannot explain psychopath’s behavior, or constitute a legal excuse.

We argue that psychopaths’ cognitive deficit is not easily understood in terms of an inability to experience certain emotions. Instead, we propose that a better understanding of the law’s rationality requirement, and the psychopath’s moral capacities, can be gained by a study of the brain’s executive function. When seen from this perspective, the disagreement regarding psychopaths' culpability can be explained by the heterogeneous nature of the group “psychopaths.” This heterogeneity is roughly captured in the distinction between successful (with little or no criminal record) and unsuccessful (with a criminal record) psychopaths. Successful psychopaths may be fully culpable, because they possess the executive functions to allow them to notice and correct for their criminal tendencies. Many unsuccessful psychopaths, however, have a lack of executive function that should at least partially excuse them from criminal culpability via the doctrine of diminished capacity.

We understand that this is an unsavory prospect as many unsuccessful psychopaths are likely to continue to commit crimes. Stephen Morse, who argues psychopaths are not responsible, does so on grounds of legal insanity, allowing for the incapacitation of psychopaths in a medical institution. However, we do not agree that psychopaths are insane. And generally, the future dangerousness of a defendant is irrelevant at the guilt phase of a trial (which aims only to determine guilt regarding a particular crime). At sentencing, future dangerous may in some cases be considered (e.g. in capital cases). However, diminished capacity may also be considered as a mitigating factor in sentencing. 

Even so, justice requires that the criteria for criminal culpability be applied in a systematic way to all persons. As students are taught in law school, hard cases make bad law. Psychopaths are a hard case; however, it is unjust to convolute legal concepts or categories to accommodate them. 


Dr. Sifferd holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of London, King's College. Her Ph.D. thesis, entitled 'Psychology and the Criminal Law', was supervised by David Papineau, and explores the nature of the folk concepts underpinning criminal responsibility and how those concepts may be updated via scientific psychology. Dr. Sifferd also has a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, and a B.A. in psychology from Valparaiso University. Before teaching at Elmhurst College she was a Rockefeller Fellow in Law and Public Policy and a Visiting Professor in philosophy at Dartmouth College. Prior to earning her Ph.D., she worked as a senior research analyst on projects for the National Institute of Justice.

At Elmhurst College Dr. Sifferd teaches Problems of Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Law and Criminal Law.

"Boomer Politics and the Death of Solution Minded Democracy in America"
Don Ness
Mayor of Duluth
February 26th at 7:00 pm  (Montague Hall 80)

An assessment of a style of politics that came to prominence within the past twenty years, and the very real dangers it presents to the long-term health of our country.  Mayor Ness will present some potential legislative solutions and what he views as leadership challenges for Boomers, Gen X, and Millennial generations to fix this broken system of governance.

Don Ness was elected mayor in 2007 from a field of 12 candidates. Four years into the job, Mayor Ness had an 86% job approval rating according to the 2011 National Citizen Survey. He was re-elected in 2011, becoming the first mayor to run unopposed since Duluth was incorporated in 1887.

Mayor Ness graduated from UMD in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration and is currently working on a MBA degree at the College of St. Scholastica. Prior to becoming mayor, he served on the City Council for eight years, including two as Council President.

"Spontaneous Abortion and Unexpected Death" 

Mary Clayton Coleman 
Assistant Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University 
March 8th at 4:00 pm (ABAH 245)

"Don Marquis’ classic argument against abortion has received a great deal of critical attention in the two decades since its publication in “Why Abortion Is Immoral.” However, there is a serious problem with this argument that seems to have gone unnoticed. Approximately one-third of the fetuses that survive long enough to implant in the uterine wall are eventually lost to spontaneous abortion. This means that approximately one-third of post-implantation fetuses have no (valuable) future ahead of them. In this paper, I explore what relevance the rate of spontaneous abortion has for Marquis’ argument about the morality of medical abortion."

Mary Clayton Coleman specializes in ethics and philosophy of action. She is also interested in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and the history of early modern philosophy. In her current research, she is investigating the relationship between the nature of action and the foundations of ethics. For example, she is arguing for the surprising, controversial idea that significant truths about which actions we ought to perform follow from the nature of action itself.

"Community Perspectives on Violence in America"

Panel Discussion

April 2nd at 7:00 pm (Kirby Ballroom)

A coalition of UMD faculty and staff has joined together to organize a panel focused upon perspectives on violence in society. The intent of the event is to encourage campus-community dialogue regarding violence in response to Newtown, focusing upon three frames of violence:  gun violence and legal issues, violence in the media and media and mental illness.  As a Land Grant Mission University and in support of goal 5 and goal 2 of the strategic plan, we hope this event will provide opportunities for our campus and community to unite, discuss critical issues and consider steps for action in our own community. The Chancellor will provide opening remarks.

The panel:

(1) Aaron Boyson studies the social, psychological, and communicative impacts of exposure to mass media with an emphasis on childhood.  His work has drawn a focus on violence in the media, including why people choose to consume it, outcomes from repeated exposure, and how both news and entertainment portray violence on screen.  Boyson earned his doctorate from Michigan State University where his dissertation analyzed the relationship between media violence exposure and homicidal thinking.  He has been on the Communication faculty at UMD since 2006 teaching classes in media effects, media theory, and quantitative research methods.

(2) Frank Jewell is a member of the St. Louis County Board representing the 1st District and Chair of the County Board’s Central Management and Intergovernmental Committee. In 2011, Frank was appointed by Governor Dayton to the Clean Water Council. He is a former Duluth City Councilor. In 1996 helped found Men as Peacemakers Director, a nonprofit working throughout the state to prevent violence, and from 2000 thru 2011 he was the Executive Director. In 1997 and 1998 he authored report, funded by the Joyce Foundation, on calls to 911 in which a gun was mentioned and followed those calls to arrests, prosecution and sentence. Frank has developed many highly successful programs and has built numerous well-functioning collaborative partnerships between organizations and institutions. He is a skilled and experienced group facilitator, trainer, and presenter.

(3) Russ Stewart teaches philosophy at Lake Superior College. He also served two terms on the Duluth City Council where he was first elected as a member of the Green Party. Eight years in local politics forced him to confront the reality of government inefficiency, waste, and corruption. He emerged from this experience a self-proclaimed libertarian and advocate of individual autonomy.

(4) Jeff Maahs is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology-Anthropology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati in 2000.  His research and teaching interests include corrections (prisons, probation, correctional interventions), criminological theory, criminal law, and crime in the media.  He has published numerous book chapters and scholarly journal articles in these areas. 

(5) Joan Peterson is a graduate of UMD in Speech Pathology. She worked in St. Paul and Duluth Public Schools as School Speech Language Pathologist until retirement. In 1992 her sister, Barbara Lund, was murdered by her estranged husband in a domestic shooting. Joan has been actively involved with the issue of gun violence prevention since 2000 when she attended the Million Mom March in Washington D.C. Joan is now the Co-President of the Northland Brady/Protect Minnesota Chapter; on Board of Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs; Board Chair of Protect Minnesota, working to end gun violence and of the national Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence. 

(6) Jacqueline Buffington-Vollum is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UMD.  A forensic clinical psychologist by training, her primary teaching and research interests revolve around the overrepresentation of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system and how the system can most effectively and ethically respond.  Mental illness stigma and the media's role in propagating this is another of her focus areas.  She is a co-author of the book, Criminalization of Mental Illness: Crisis and Opportunity for the Justice System (2nd edition).

(7) Scott Vollum is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology-Anthropology Department at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. At this time, his primary areas of academic interest/research are the death penalty, lethal violence, violence against animals, restorative justice, media and crime, and moral disengagement. He currently teaches classes on violence/non-violence, the death penalty, restorative justice, sociology of law and research methods. He is author of the book Last Words and The Death Penalty: Voices of the Condemned and Their Co-Victims and co-author of the book The Death Penalty: Constitutional Issues, Commentaries and Case Briefs



UMD Office of Civic Engagement

UMD Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

UMD College of Liberal Arts

UMD College of Education and Human Service Professionals

UMD Department of Psychology

UMD Center for Ethics and Public Policy

"Copper & Nickel Mining in Minnesota"

Panel Discussion

April 9th at 7:00 pm (Bohannon Hall 90)

Mining is at the center of life in northern Minnesota. Despite this centrality, much ink has been spilled over recent plans to build copper-nickel mines in the Iron Range. It's a different kind of mining for Minnesota, laden with extreme rewards – and serious risks.

For more information on this issue, see the following articles: (MPR & DNR).  

The CEPP will host a panel discussion equally representing both sides of this important and contentious issue. The goal is to create an open discussion in which many sides can exchange ideas/concerns in a respectful atmosphere.    

The panel:

(1) Don Fosnacht – NRRI, Director of CARTD:   

 Fosnacht is the director of the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development. He is a metallurgical engineer with a broad background that includes minerals extraction and minerals processing, extractive and physical metallurgy and analytical chemistry. He is also a seasoned technical manager with 20+ years experience in managing and directing research programs and technology development. He has been trained in project management, total quality management, continuous improvement processes along with various statistical tools and methodologies. He consults with various clients on business improvement specializing in yield and profitability enhancement and cost reduction. He is a partner in Steel Profitability Consulting, Inc. (a firm that serves the metals industry in business enhancement).

(2) Betsy Daub – Friends of BWCA, Policy Director: 

Daub has extensive experience in conservation policy,including six years at Audubon Minnesota, where she served as Forest Program Director, Acting State Director, and Senior Director for Conservation Programs. Her work at Audubon included substantial efforts regarding management of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Most recently, Daub taught science in St. Paul schools.

(3) Nancy Schuldt -- Water Projects Coordinator, Fond du Lac:

Schuldt serves as the Fond du Lac Water Projects Coordinator. Her water quality monitoring and quality assurance plans were critical to the finalization of Tribal water quality standards, and provided a model for other EPA Region 5 Tribes entering similar phases of their own water projects. She directed research into fish contaminants and sediment chemistry to characterize mercury impacts to Fond du Lac Band members, participates in numerous local and regional working groups to ensure the tribal perspective is represented, and initiated a cooperative wastewater management project with the non-tribal community to protect Big Lake, a heavily developed lake on the Reservation. She is also responsible for the tribe’s nonpoint source management program, and environmental review of mining and energy industry impacts to trust resources.

(4) Tom Landwehr  -- DNR Commissioner:

Before being appointed (by Governor Dayton) as DNR commissioner, Landwehr was the assistant state director for The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota, North and South Dakota. Before leaving the DNR in 1999, Landwehr worked under the agency for 17 years as a research biologist, wildlife manager and Wetland Wildlife Program leader.  He's also been a state conservation director for Ducks Unlimited in Minnesota and Iowa.

(5) Bob McFarlin -- Vice President of Public and Government Affairs, Twin Metals Minnesota: 

Prior to joining Twin Metals, McFarlin was a vice president in the corporate, community and public affairs practice in the Minneapolis-St. Paul office of Weber Shandwick. McFarlin also served 14 years (nonconsecutive) in public service in a variety of public and government affairs roles at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and was appointed acting commissioner of Mn/DOT by former Governor Tim Pawlenty in February 2008. McFarlin has also served as president of MCF Consulting Group; executive director to the Board of Trustees at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; public affairs director for the Minnesota Petroleum Council and as staff to the Minnesota House of Representatives.

"Escape to Gold Mountain"

David H.T. Wong
April 11th at 4:00 pm (Humanities 314)

The history of Chinese immigration to Canada and the US has been fraught with sadness and indignity; newcomers to North America encountered discrimination, subjugation, and separation from loved ones.

Despite such obstacles, these Chinese newcomers persevered to create a better life for the generations to come.

Escape to Gold Mountain is the first graphic novel to tell their story: based on historical documents and interviews with elders, this is a vivid history of the Chinese in their search for “Gold Mountain” (the Chinese colloquialism for North America) as seen through the eyes of the Wong family. They traverse the challenges of eking out an existence in their adopted homeland with hope and determination, creating a poignant immigrant’s legacy for their sons and daughters.

Join us for a presentation by the author of this powerful book.

Sponsored by:

UMD Department of Writing Studies;

UMD Office of Cultural Diversity;

UMD Office of Sustainability;

UMD Alworth Institute;

UMD Center for Ethics and Public Policy

UM System Arts & Humanities Event Grant

UMD Asian & Pacific American Student Association

UMD College of Liberal Arts Teaching Grant

The UM Institute for Advanced Study

"How We Make Political Decisions and Why It Matters" 

Karen Shanton

Legislative Studies Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

April 22nd at 4:00 pm (ABAH 235)

"Why do liberals and conservatives often stake out opposite positions on the same issue? Why does one political ad swing public opinion more than another? Advances in cognitive science have unearthed important insights about how people process political information and make political decisions. These insights can help us understand why liberal cousin Casey butts heads with conservative cousin Chris over Thanksgiving dinner and why one same-sex marriage campaign ‘moves the needle’ more than another. In this talk, I describe some cognitive scientific discoveries about political decision-making and highlight some of their implications for political discourse and social activism."

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, commonwealths, and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance, and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.

"American Inequality and the Idea of Personal Responsibility"
Joshua Broady Preiss
Assistant Professor
Program in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (PPE)
Minnesota State University, Mankato
April 20th at 4:00 pm (SCC 120)

"Economist Robert Frank writes, 'Some moral philosophers address
inequality by invoking principles of justice or fairness.  But because they have been unable to forge broad agreement about what their principles mean in practice, they have made little progress.'  In this essay, I dispute his claim that philosophers really disagree so much that their theories are of little use.  In practice, in the status quo, philosophers agree far more than we appear to. Given its prevalence in American political discourse, including successive versions of the Republican Party’s Contract with America, I begin this search for agreement with the idea of personal responsibility, and a group of theories that Elizabeth Anderson labels 'luck egalitarian'.

Luck egalitarians generally intend to articulate and defend a particular notion of an ideally just society.  Nonetheless, their work, combined with recent economic data on equality and social mobility, provide what Amartya Sen has recently called a 'plural grounding' for a number of policy priorities in the status quo United States. In short, Frank is mistaken.  This broad agreement on how to further justice, moreover, reaches beyond luck egalitarians to include some of their chief critics, including Elizabeth Anderson and Jonathan Wolff. This analysis promises to be of interest to any theorist and policy maker concerned with the practical implications of recent work in the moral and political philosophy of personal responsibility, or, really, anyone interested in making
American society comparatively just."

Joshua Broady Preiss is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Minnesota State University.  Prior to coming to MSU in 2010, Preiss taught for three years at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.  His current research is in moral philosophy and public policy, including ethics and economics, value pluralism, institutional approaches to diversity, freedom and markets, and the idea of equality.  Preiss has presented at such institutions as the University of Chicago, the University of Minnesota, Georgetown University, the University of Edinburgh, Jesuit University in Krakow, Poland, University of Minho, Portugal, and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  His recent work has appeared in Social Theory and Practice, Ethics, Res Publica, and the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.  Preiss received his B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago.

"Toward a Humane Libertarianism"
Russ Stewart
Former Duluth City Council Member
Instructor of Philosophy, Lake Superior College
March 19th at 6:00 pm (SCC 120)

"In this talk I will describe a spectrum of 'libertarian' political philosophies including classical liberalism, minarchism, and anarchism. I will argue that libertarian political philosophies are often inaccurately portrayed as a 'philosophies of greed,' and that in fact the libertarian perspective is humanitarian. I will defend libertarianism against several common criticisms. Finally I will close with an analysis of three contemporary political issues (the war on drugs, foreign war, and health care) showing that in each case the libertarian approach would best promote the general welfare."

Russ Stewart teaches philosophy at Lake Superior College. He also served two terms on the Duluth City Council where he was first elected as a member of the Green Party. Eight years in local politics forced him to confront the reality of government inefficiency, waste, and corruption. He emerged from this experience a self-proclaimed libertarian and advocate of individual autonomy.

"Politics and Leadership in Duluth"
Gary Doty
Former Mayor of Duluth, State Legislator and County Commissioner 
February 15th at 4:00 pm (Griggs Center)

Join Gary Doty for anecdotes and insight into the leadership styles of Jeno Paulucci, John Fedo, the Klapmeiers, and other “giants” of Duluth, including his own.

The presentation is sponsored by the Kirby Leadership Institute, the Center for Ethics and Public Policy and University for Seniors. 

The presentation is free and open to the public.

In 1974, Gary Doty was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives (District 8A). He served from 1975–1976. In November 1991, Doty was, then, elected mayor of Duluth. He was re-elected to two additional four-year terms. He retired from office in January, 2004.

"Minnesota and Gay Marriage"
Panel Discussion 
February 6th at 6:00 pm (Bohannon Hall 90)

In 2011, the Minnesota House voted (70-62) to put an amendment on the 2012 ballot that would define marriage as the union of a man and woman. Recently, the Advocate (a national gay news magazine) gave Minneapolis the title -- "Gayest City in America."  According to U.S. Census Data, of major cities, Minneapolis has the fourth-highest gay population -- 12.5 percent. Given such a confluence of elements, one should expect serious discussion regarding the MN Marriage Amendment. The CEPP will host a panel discussion equally representing both sides of this important and contentious issue. The goal is to create an open discussion in which many sides can exchange ideas/concerns in a respectful atmosphere.     

The panel:

1.     Senator D. Scott Dibble -- MN DFL Senator from District 60. Dibble became involved in politics in the mid-1980's working on issues concerning the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities. In 2000, Dibble ran for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, becoming the third openly gay legislator to serve in the Minnesota Legislature.  After serving one term in the House, Dibble ran for State Senate in 2002 where he is now serving in his third term.

2.     Jason Adkins -- Vice Chairman of the Minnesota for Marriage campaign, the coalition of religious and secular organizations created to pass the marriage protection amendment. He is also executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.  Prior to his advocacy work for the Church, Adkins was an attorney at the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm.  He has clerked for both state and federal appellate judges, and received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he continues to serve as an adjunct professor.

3.     Teresa Collett -- Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas. Professor Collett is a nationally sought-after scholar and speaker on the topics of marriage, religion and bioethics. She has published numerous legal articles and is the co-author of a law casebook on professional responsibility and co-editor of a collection of essays exploring "Catholic" perspectives on American law. Professor Collett is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and has testified before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as before legislative committees in several states. She has served as special Attorney General for the States of Oklahoma and Kansas , as well as assisting other state Attorneys General in defending laws protecting human life and marriage. Prior to joining St. Thomas in 2003, Professor Collett taught at the South Texas College of Law where she established the nation's first annual symposium on legal ethics.

4.     Jason Ford -- Associate Professor in the Philosophy department at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  He received his Bachelors degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Doctorate from the University of California, Irvine.  He has an abiding interest in Constitutional law, and has taught Philosophy of Law at UMD for six years.

"Doubling Survival in Metastatic Colon Cancer:  Is It Worth It?  Can 'We' Afford It?"

Jonathan Sande
Director, St. Mary's Medical Center Ethics Program
January 25th at 5:00pm (Montague Hall 203)

Dr. Sande will discuss a patient who received "state of the art" care for metastatic colon cancer.  He will highlight the costs associated with such care, and introduce, for further discussion, ethical and public policy issues he believes to be at the center of current controversies in US Healthcare.

 Dr. Sande is a graduate of St. Olaf College, and attended Mayo Medical School in Rochester, MN.  He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the Mayo College of Medicine, and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology.  A former fellow in the Pew Program in Medicine, Arts, and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, he is currently a doctoral candidate in ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, a consultant in Hematology/Oncology at Essentia Health East, Director of the St. Mary's Medical Center Ethics Program, and Director of the Essentia Health East End of Life Initiative

"Poverty in Duluth: Alien Neighbors, Plastic Santas, and the Uncharted Future"

Dave Benson 
Executive Director of the Damiano Center
December 5th at 5:00pm (UMD Library Rotunda)

"Consideration of the vagaries of discussing and measuring poverty in an industrial society; and a consideration of poverty in Duluth--who lives in poverty, what's happening right now, and ways to think about what comes next."

Dave Benson is the Executive Director of the Damiano Center, which provides meals, clothing, and other emergency assistance to people living in poverty in Duluth. He has been at the Damiano 
Center for seven years and has also worked as a teacher, writer, editor, and naturalist.  He is a native of Minneapolis and attended Gustavus Adolphus College, Yale University, and the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities. He is the author of over one hundred published articles and two award-winning books, Stories in Log and Stone: the Legacy of the New Deal in Minnesota State Parks, and Owls of the North: a Naturalist's Handbook. For more information about the Damiano Center, see

"Capitalism, Marx, and the Present Crisis"  

Richard Hudelson
Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin - Superior
December 2nd

"The present global economic crisis seems far from over.  Millions are unemployed and everywhere there is talk of a “new normal” of lowered expectations for the future.  Why is this?  Must this be?  I will defend the view that Marx’s theory of capitalism needs to inform our attempts to answer these questions.  We will consider issues in ethics, philosophy of science, and political theory."

"Intersections of Racism, Sexism, and Warism"

Duane L. Cady 
Hamline University
November 10th at 4:00pm (UMD Library Rotunda)

Duane L. Cady earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at Brown University.  He has been teaching since 1971, spending most of his career at Hamline University in St. Paul.  He is the author of FROM WARISM TO PACIFISM: A MORAL CONTINUUM (1989; second edition 2010) and MORAL VISION: HOW EVERYDAY LIFE SHAPES ETHICAL THINKING (2005). He co-authored HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION: JUST WAR VS. PACIFISM (1996), co-edited three anthologies, and has published more than fifty articles in professional journals, most on ethics and history of philosophy.  Professor Cady has been honored for his teaching both locally and nationally.  He is a past President of Concerned Philosophers for Peace and served six years on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Professor Cady's visit has been made possible by the Alworth Institute, The Center for Ethics and Public PolicyAfrican American Studies and CLA. 

"Ritual and the Vulnerability of a Prosperous World"

Michael Ing
Indiana University -- Bloomington
Tuesday, October 4

"In this presentation I will interpret several passages from a Confucian text called which human beings thought of themselves in relation to ritual become more complex as the “Liyun.” I will argue that the narrative of ritual put forth in the “Liyun” is a narrative of growing complexity where the performances of ritual as well as the ways in society develops. More specifically, I will argue that the “Liyun” encourages its readers to ambivalently accept this narrative. By this I mean that the text asserts that humanity once lived in a safe, yet simple, condition that transitioned into a prosperous, yet vulnerable, condition. The text encourages its readers to pursue prosperity, yet to recognize that the only way to create prosperity is to develop more sophisticated forms of ritual as well as more crafty notions of the self, thereby allowing for the possibility that human beings might ruin prosperity."

"The Demands of Morality: How Hard Is It to Be Good?"

Matthew Braddock
Duke University
Thursday, October 14

"An indomitable resistance to demanding moral views takes this form:

The Demandingness Objection
(Premise)       Moral view V demands too much of us.
(Premise)       If a moral view demands too much of us, then it is mistaken.
(Conclusion)    So, moral view V is mistaken.

Objections of this sort dog not only major theories in normative
ethics but also prominent normative principles and particular claims
in applied ethics and political philosophy.  This paper (i) it
clarifies and distinguishes between various demandingness objections,
(ii) constructs a formidable and philosophically interesting form of
the demandingness objection that targets a wide scope of moral views,
and (iii) defuses this important objection by developing an argument
from unreliability the form of which may, interestingly, be
effectively deployed in other areas of philosophy."

"Ethical Theories and the Correlation Problem"

Jussi Suikkanen
University of Birmingham, UK
Colloquium at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, 9-19-2011, 5pm

"Different normative ethical theories postulate that different properties correlate with something’s being morally right. Consequentialists say that the property of "having the best consequences of the available options” always correlates to the property of being morally right. Virtue ethicists say that the property of “being what a fully virtuous agent would do” always correlates to the property of being morally right.  The correlation challenge: If one is an ethical theorist, one must be able to explain why one’s own preferred correlation (co-instantiation) thesis is true, and not the others. Why is it that these two properties are necessarily co-instantiated?  Why, for example, would consequences make something always morally right, and not something else? Is it the meaning of terms, or is it metaphysics, or another thing?"

"Sincerity and Art in the Public Sphere"

Dan Nolan
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, UMD

Friday, December 3

"Is Art critical to public culture?  This talk responds to a question that for many would seem rather innocuous.  For many the relevance of artistic works in public life is something that could easily be taken for granted.  And not without reason.  It is surprising, then, to learn that the chief twentieth century theorist of public culture, Jürgen Habermas, would argue against rather than for the relevance of artistic works in the public sphere.  This talk will attempt, first, to show that Habermas has some good reasons for remaining skeptical about the broader relevance of artistic works in civil discourse. Then, I will attempt to complicate Habermas's view by reconsidering the central term he uses when when describing art in the modern era: sincerity. Habermas offers some insights into the problematic way modern works of art emphasize sincerity.  In doing so he shows how and to some extent why art has shifted art away from the center and towards the margins of public culture.  But Habermas's version of sincerity is limited, and his insistence on a narrow conception of the nature of sincerity closes off an important reflection on the way public culture relies on changing forms of exposure, one rather important aspect of which is only to be found in art."

"Down-Home Global Cooking: Why Cosmopolitanism versus Localism is a False Dichotomy, and How Our Food Can Show Us the Way to a Third Option"

Lisa Heldke
Sponberg Chair of Ethics,
Gustavus Adolphus College

Friday, February 18

Sex Trafficking of Women and Children in Our Community: A Panel Discussion”
Thursday, March 3

"A panel discussion on Sex Trafficking in Minnesota and Duluth with Candy Harsh
ner, PAVSA Director; Sergeant Ann Clancy, Police Department, Scan Division; Bree Bussey, MSW, Shelter Coordinator American Indian Community Housing Organization; Dr. Jane Ellen Maddy, Duluth Branch of AAUW, and Dr.
Sean Walsh, Director of the UMD Center for Ethics and Public Policy."

"Toward a Theory of Moral Character: Ethics and Social Psychology"

Christian Miller 
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Wake Forest University
Tuesday, March 29 

"Drawing on work in personality and social psychology, I begin to
sketch a new theory of the moral character traits that many of us
actually possess. More specifically, I focus on one such trait, which
pertains to helping other people. I argue that this trait is not a
virtue and leads to helping behavior which, while stable over time,
seems to be inconsistent across situations. The theory has
implications for debates in psychology about situationism, CAPS theory
(Cognitive-affective personality system theory), and other views, and
in philosophy for debates about the empirical adequacy of virtue
ethics and recent work by Gilbert Harman and John Doris."

"Integrity Uncluttered"

Howard Curzer
Texas Tech University
Monday, April 4 

"I shall argue for the following fourteen claims. (1) Integrity is not
the same as across-the-board honesty. (2) It is compatible with
morality. (3) It does not encompass all or even most of virtue, but
rather governs only situations in which reputation is at stake. (4)
Integrity is about commitments, but not all commitments, and not only
commitments. (5) It concerns only those commitments that are important
to one?s reputation. (6) The self is one?s history, plus one?s future
projects (including one?s commitments), plus one?s current character.
(7) Integrity consists in accurately presenting one?s self to others.
(8) Expressing commitments open-mindedly in public forums is virtuous,
but not part of integrity. (9) Acting on one?s commitments is neither
necessary nor sufficient for the possession of integrity. (10)
Integrity precludes lying to oneself, but it is compatible with being
lied to by oneself. (11) Integrity does not require that people
acquire their commitments authentically. Perhaps most surprisingly, a

person?s commitments should not be (12) held unconditionally, (13)

compatible with each other, or (14) endorsed wholeheartedly."