Annual Report to the Faculty Senate

University Lecture Committee



Committee Chair: Chad Aldeman


Committee Members: Chad Aldeman, Anjali Khosla, Michael Kuehner, Mark Simons, Nick Smith, Rowan Swanson, Carissa Swanstrom (fall), Andrew Boyd (spring), Frank Durham (faculty), Eric Forsythe (faculty), David Schoonover (staff) 


Committee Charge: The goal of the University Lecture Committee is to bring a diverse slate of speakers to campus.  We seek to bring renowned figures to lecture on issues of local, national, and global importance. 


Meeting Dates: Due to the work required to put on a lecture series, our committee meets for approximately an hour just about every week during the summer, fall, and spring semesters. 


Activities:          August 29, 2004: Jean Kilbourne spoke on the effects of alcohol and tobacco advertising on society to 900 audience members at Hancher Auditorium. 

                        September 8, 2004: Art Spiegelman lectured to a crowd of 900 in the IMU main lounge as part of the kickoff for the Year of Arts and Humanities.  He spoke on the events of 9/11 and the history of comics. 

                        October ________: World Food Prize winner Monty Jones spoke to an intimate audience in Biology Building East. 

                        November 11, 2004: The Weekly Standard editor William Kristol spoke to a crowd of 700 in the IMU main lounge about the 2004 presidential election. 

                        December 5, 2004:  This American Life reporter Ira Glass spoke to a packed IMU main lounge about how to tell stories, what makes radio an important medium, and why the Democrats lost the election. 

                        February _______: Former Little Rock 9 member Minnie Jean Brown-Trickey spoke about her educational experience at the Englert Theatre. 

                        March 30, 2005: Jeff Ma spoke to 500 audience members about his experiences on the MIT blackjack team in the IMU main lounge. 

*Note: We cancelled Irshad Manji, originally scheduled for March 7, 2005, because the law school had also booked her to speak six weeks after our engagement.  We decided to cancel ours because the law school had already sent out formal invitations.  Our Distinguished Lecture was scheduled to be Howard Zinn, but flight difficulties forced him to cancel.  He was scheduled for April 20, 2005.   


Recommendations to the Senate:  We humbly submit two recommendations for the Senate.  The first is to consider amending our charter so that the year of service more closely allies with the school calendar.  Due to the nature of our committee, we must continue planning and working over the summer.  Outgoing seniors are rarely still living in Iowa City, let alone possessing enough motivation to plan a season for which they will not see the fruits of their labor.  Progress over the summer is quite slow currently, largely because new members do not have an official vote until September 1, according to the current rules.  New members also do not get a chance to learn from outgoing members because of this timetable, meaning they have to learn positions by themselves.  Just about all other student committees have terms ending in late April or early May, which better facilitates the handover to new members.  We request the same.  Our second request is for the Faculty Senate to nominate a third faculty member to the committee.  One of our appointed faculty members has not attended over the last year, and a third faculty members helps bring another voice into the planning of a diverse lecture season.