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Kean to Host Issues 08 Speaker Series during Presidential Race

UNION - Kean University will host a lecture series this fall, Issues ’08, designed to examine key topics central to the presidential election in November. The series features experts in fields such as national security, the economy, United States-China relations and immigration, among others. The series is free and open to the general public. The lectures will take place at various locations on campus.

John J. Farmer, Jr., senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, will discuss Lessons of 9/11 on Thursday, September 11 at 12:30 p.m. in Kean University’s Little Theatre located in the University Center. In his capacity as senior counsel, he led the team investigating the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks and examined the state of public and private sector preparedness. Farmer also served as New Jersey Attorney General from 1999-2002. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Arseneault, Whipple, Farmer, Fassett and Azzarello and writes frequently on government affairs and homeland security for several newspapers and publications, including The StarLedger.

Other scheduled speakers in the lineup include:

Jason Bram, an economist in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Microeconomic and Regional Studies Function, will provide an overview of the economy and examine key challenges in an address on Tuesday, September 23 at 11 a.m. Bram is an expert in U.S. economy research and analysis. Focused primarily on the New York-New Jersey region, his recent worked examined the impact of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the New York City economy. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University. He has published studies on the local economy and conducted research on both neighborhood development and the role of consumer confidence in the U.S. economy.

Orville Schell, an internationally recognized expert on China and United States relations and a distinguished author and journalist, will address How Should We Look at China? on Thursday, October 2 at 12:30 p.m. in the Little Theatre. He currently serves as the Arthus Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York and was the dean of the University of California-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Schell has served on the board of Human Rights Watch, Current TV and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His written work includes some fifteen books, ten of them about China, including Virtual Tibet, Mandate of Heaven and Discos and Democracy, as well as the five-volume China Reader. He is currently working on issues of continuing political and economic reform in China.

He has contributed articles to numerous newspapers and magazines, including the cover story, China’s Agony of Defeat in the August 8 edition of Newsweek, and other publications such as Wired, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times and The Atlantic.

Schell has also worked as a correspondent and consultant for several PBS Frontline documentaries, as well as an Emmy award-winning program on China for CBS’ 60 Minutes. He is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship and the Columbia/Freedom Forum Fellowship.

Dr. James W. Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University since 1995, will discuss New Jersey’s Changing Demographics on Tuesday, October 28 at 11 a.m. Dr. Hughes will address how New Jersey’s population has changed over the years and its impact on voting patterns and trends. A member of the Rutgers faculty since 1971, Dr. Hughes has also been the director of the Rutgers Regional Report since its inception in 1988. During its 20-year run, the report series has produced 33 major economic, demographic and housing studies on New Jersey and the New York region.

Dr. Hughes is the author or co-author of 33 books and monographs, as well as more than 130 articles, primarily on housing, demographics and economic development patterns. Dr. Hughes has testified before several legislative committees and provided numerous policy briefings both in Washington, D.C. and in Trenton on demographics, housing and the economy. He has also provided extensive budgetary and economic testimony before many New Jersey State Legislative committees.

Terry Golway, Kean University assistant professor of history and curator of the John Kean Center of American History, will moderate two panel discussions. Political Firsts In New Jersey will take place on Monday, October 6 at 12:30 p.m. Dissecting the Results, an analysis and roundtable discussion with journalists on the results and meaning of the election’s outcome, concludes the series on Wednesday, November 12 at 12:30 p.m.

Individuals wishing to attend these lectures may contact Kean University’s Office of Media & Publications at 908-737-0580. For updates and lecture locations, visit