Honoring Civility for a Civilized Society


[Noise]>>Good afternoon
I’m Larry Mantle of Pasadena Zone KPCC, 89.3 FM. [Applause] Thanks. Thank you. And that’s how I
feel about KPCC. And it’s great to work
for a place that you feel such a connection to
because it is a mission driven organization. One where we really buy into
the idea of civil conversation, taking the most contagious,
most difficult issues and trying to find for ways to–
for people to respect– respectfully talk their way
through those challenges. I’m really looking forward to
our program this afternoon. It’s an honor to join with the
six leaders of higher education at premiere cultural
institutions to talk about the toughest challenges we
face and how we talk about those in ways that move us forward
and keep us from screaming at each other and getting locked
into our intractable positions. These giants of higher
education and culture in Pasadena are local
figures but all of them are truly national and
international figures as well and we are incredibly fortunate
in this community to be able to bring them together for
a conversation like this. And first I want to thank
them for the willingness with their schedules to
take the time to do this. It’s an honor to be part of it. I’d like to think that– [ Applause ] I’d like to think that public
radio is generally a bastion of civility in an
increasingly angry media world. However, even we have to
deal with the blind passion and the fear that fuels the
trend of public hostility that we’ll be talking
about today. It becomes so much
a part of life that to ignore the
ranker is to miss one of the most important
trends in our country. Though most of our
listeners are open-minded, curious about the
world, there are others who are deeply frightened
with what are going– what’s going on and they cling
to a kind of fundamentalism, a closed off world view. For them this time period
is extremely frightening. I think for some of our
listeners they feel powerless, overwhelmed by the pace and
complexity of current events. So it’s easier to see the world
is broken down into people that wear black hats and
people that wear white hats. It explains things, it gives
a context for what goes on the world, and that kind
of a narrative, is clear cut, is as simple as in box as it is,
is just so ripe for news media that they can’t help but
pick it up and run with it and give people exactly
what they want. But if only life were
that simply, it isn’t. We can’t put everybody in
a black hat, in a white hat and say that this defines
who they are who is moral or good or virtuous people. So over the next couple of hours
we’re going to be wrestling with this issue of
civility and public life. How we talk honestly
with argument and with emotion while hearing and considering what those was
strongly different opinions have to say. With that in mind, I’m looking
to challenge our panelist to vehemently disagree with
each other while modeling that civility. They’re good at this
civility part I’m sure. You don’t get a job as a
college president or the head of the Huntington by being a
contentious, difficult person. But I’m hoping that they will
let that passion out today and feel free to really model
that strong disagreement in a respectful and open way. It’s appropriate we begin
our program this afternoon with probably the most civil man
that I know in public service. His patience and careful
consideration are remarkable as is his positive way of addressing very
tough civic challenges. He was the first guest
I ever interviewed just over 27 years ago on my
daily program air talk. He held the same
position then as now, though the job has
changed quite a bit and the way a mayor is elected
is different today than then. He is a behavioral
role model for me. The mayor of Pasadena,
Bill Bogaard. [ Applause ]>>I was prepared to say thank
to Larry for a nice introduction but he’s introduction
today goes beyond the pale. From that time that
he interviewed me on the opening session
of his program and today, I did take 14 years off and
served as a private citizen, and then circumstances that
were totally unexpected by me and perhaps by almost
anyone else have resulted in my being back in the office
of mayor of a great city, proud to do so and truly
grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you,
with the people who are here and particularly the
panelist who have such a strong commitment to
the well-being of our city. As you know from the invitation,
this event has a term, “Honoring Civility
for a Civil Society.” A forum organized by Pasadena’s
Higher Education Community inspired by Pasadena
City of Learning. That’s a pretty heavy load and I thought I might
just take a moment to offer some preliminary
comments. First, civility,
that’s a subject that is frequently talked about
these days but rarely analyzed. The opportunity that we have
today is to see some analysis of the role of civility
in our society. Where it’s been, where it is, and where it might
be in the future. All of us are aware of
the institutions that make up Pasadena’s Higher
Education community which had so much depth and
prestige to our city. The president’s of these
institutions are the participants in this forum and they will surely
provide insightful and interesting comments. Incidentally this might be
the first time that all six of these institutions
have joined together through their presidents to analyze a topic
of great importance. So this is a landmark I
want to express once again, gratitude to the presidents who
are here and who are willing to participate in this way. [ Pause ] As to Pasadena City of Learning, the awareness among the general
public I would say is much less extensive and a brief
description of PCOL might be an order. PCOL is a series of
meetings, not an organization. That began more than
10 years ago. These meetings bring
together representatives of the institutions
with us today and many other organizations in
this city that are all committed to educating, to informing, and
to promoting lifelong learning. The purpose of the meeting
is to share information, to communicate about
current projects, programs, and activities, and to
promote coordination and collaboration
among the participants. This forum is an example, perhaps one of the
best examples, of the kind of collaboration
that has been achieved. There might be another time
to talk in greater detail about PCOL and I would look
forward to that opportunity. The forum today can be described as considering two
basic questions. Are we at risk of losing basic
civility in modern society? And can we risk losing our
civility without falling into total chaos as a society? Based on current events,
public discourse and the media, the answer to the first
question seems to be yes. The slightest hint
of disagreement with another can be– can today
be met with serious threats. Candidates for office,
super imposed riffle targets over the basis of
opponents and send them out to mass audiences
on the internet. Reality shows promote and
encourage crass behavior, lack of manners and argument
for the sake of argument. Indeed, propriety may well be
considered a virtue that is out of date and a
sign of weakness. Rudeness now seems
to be the new normal. Part of the problem lies with
the lost art of civil discourse. Many of our political
leaders simply cannot engage in productive discussion. Efforts to reach across the isle and find common ground
are infrequent. This in turn, spills over
into our own daily discourse. Lively discussions
about current events and issues too often devolved
into angry sarcasm, name calling and personal attacks on
anyone who dares to disagree. So the next question
is, what is the impact of losing our civility? Do not the values of free speech
the right to agree to disagree? And the protection of human– of individual freedoms stills
represents the ideals upon which our nation is based. Why is it then that we
seem so quickly unkind to disregard those
important core values? Our speakers today are prepared
to address these questions and I expect that
they will send us away with provocative new insights
and renewed commitment to the core values
of a civil society. It is my privilege to
introduce the key note speaker, author and President of
Fuller Theological Seminary, Richard J. Mouw. He has served as Fuller
President since 1993, he earned a Masters Degree in
Philosophy at the University of Alberta and his
PhD in Philosophy is from the University of Chicago. Richard has an impressive
record of publication. He is the author of 17
books including “The God who Commands,” “The Smell
of Sawdust,” “He Shines in all that’s Fair: Culture
and Common Grace,” “Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport,” I
intended to ask him about that, and in expanded and revised
edition of “Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility
in an Uncivil World.” His most recent book is
“Abraham Kuyper a Short and Personal Introduction.” Our speaker has also
participated in many councils and boards and he
currently serves as President of the Association of
Theological Schools. He is a leader for Interfaith
Theological Conversation Particularly with
Mormons and Jewish Groups. In 2007, Princeton Theological
Seminary awarded Dr. Mouw the Abraham Kuyper prize
for excellence in Reformed Theology
in Public Life. It is indeed a pleasure for
me to invite Dr. Richard Mouw, President of one of the world’s
largest Christian seminaries to step forward to
offer his views on honoring civility
for a civil society. Dr. Mouw. [ Applause ]>>Thank you Mr. Mayor. I’m just greatly honored and
personally delighted to be here with my Presidential Colleagues to explore together
these important issues. I wrote my book on Civility
back in, right around 19– early 1990s and in the last
couple of years people have said to me, you know, you
wrote back too early. We need it more today
than we needed it then. And then I came very
much aware of that when I was visiting a
Congressional Office– Office of the Conservative
Republican with whom I had established
a friendship and a kind of a debating friendly debating
team and walk into his office as prearranged and I had some
things I wanted to talk to him about but he said, “Today I
want to talk about congress.” He said “You know, you live
out there in the West Coast, how do you view us here
in congress these days?” And I said “Well, I’m going
to be perfectly honest with you, folks look awful.” And he said “It’s even
worst than you think.” He said, “I’ve been in
congress for a couple of decades and we used to be able
to talk to each other.” He said, “We would debate, we
have very passionate debate, we would disagree about things
but we used to be able afterward to play around a golf
or meeting the cloakroom or have lunch together
and talked things over and he referred back to
the days when Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan would get
together before each compromises after having publicly
disagreed about things. And I thought, you know, maybe
I ought to revise that book, and then my publisher
called and said, you know we’ve been thinking
we need a new edition of that and so I went back and read
what I’ve written some almost, you know, 2 decades earlier, and
when I first started thinking about civility I was
very much motivated by, or inspired by wonderful line
from the University of Chicago, historian and theologian
Dr. Martin Marty here, and one of his books said
this he said “People today who are civil often don’t
a really strong convictions and people who have strong
convictions often are very civil and what we need is
convicted civility.” It is the willingness to
deeply believe in things and yet at the same time engage in
friendly discussion with people with whom we strongly disagree
and as a person of faith, back in the early 1990s I
thought immediately of the ways in which religion is often
a part of the problem, religious convictions in those
days Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland,
Christians and Muslims in Bosnia or Herzegovina, and other
parts of Eastern Europe, Jews and Muslims in the Middle
East, those are the things I had in mind, I wrote my book. And within two weeks of publishing my book I got two
separate calls for interviews, one for the Boston Globe, the
other from the New York Times. They obviously had read my
book with they were looking for somebody who had written
something about civility and in each case they wanted
to talk about freeways in California, they wanted
to talk about parking lots, they wanted to talk about
isles and supermarkets. And we’re getting down to
the kind of incivilities that Larry was talking
about earlier. It is the incivilities of a
lot of reality shows and lot of cable news, and most of us
who write for online websites, very often the remarks,
the comments, that come in are very abusive. A fundamental incivility
in our society today and I do think we are in
a crisis and I’m so please that we can talk
together here because, as the mayor rightly noted
we do have a wonderful group of influential institutions of
higher education in Pasadena, it’s a great education city. And I hope that we can find
ways to contribute together to promoting civility not only
within the academy, we got a lot of that to do before we start
telling other people how to get along that kinds
of faiths that we have within the academy on our
campuses about science and faith, sexuality,
curriculum, the use of new technologies
in spreading the word about our programs, budgeting
priorities and all the rest, we have our own problems. But also to think together
about how we as a community of educators can more
effectively address the questions of civil society which
desperately need educator along with others leaders
in civil society if you’re addressing
these issues. Let me say something
about civility. The word civility comes from the
word civitas which means city. To be civil is to know how
to get along in the city. We get this idea, this theme
from Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who said, you
know, the earliest stage where we learn how to bond with
other people where we learn how to feel good about other people,
that early stage is kinship, it’s the child and the parent,
the brother and the sister, grandparents, extended
family, but it’s in kinship that we really learn how
to bond with other people. And then the next day he said
was the stage of friendship where we take those same
feelings of intimacy, that same feelings of bonding and we go beyond blood
relationship through the people who are like us and whom we like and we form those kinds
of bonds with them. But Aristotle says, we don’t
truly develop the proper adult virtues until we learn how to
get along in the public square and we have to imagine
the public square in the Ancient Greek city
state where there were people from other tribes,
other nations, people who spoke
different languages, people who have different
ethnicity’s and races, and he says, in encountering
the other, in encountering the stranger
that being able in some sense to take what we learned in
kinship and what we learned in friendship and apply
that to other people simply because they’re human, simply because we share
a common human nature. When we learn how to do
that, we’ve learned how to be virtuous adult human
beings and so the city, And, so the city the
public square the pluralism and diversity of our– of our
live together in civil society– political society is
an important arena for exhibiting those virtues that are associated
with civility. And I think we educators
need to address that, what is it that we can do because in many ways education
basically picks up at the point where people have
learned the lessons from kinship and
from friendship. But, we can be a very
important vehicle and provide a very
important arena for developing those virtuous
traits that make for civility in the larger society. And you know when we think about
that, Aristotelian sequence of family, kinship, friendship
and then the public square, I think we can identify some of
the problems that we have today because we’re really seeing much
of the failure in the family to cultivate, that politeness. I think a lot about the–
the family meal you know, the family meal is the first
place where we learn to stay at the table for 45
minutes with people that we’re really
irritated about you know. [Laughter] And, I can’t
stress the importance of– of meals and civility
on that regard. When I first became– when I became the provost at Fuller Theological
Seminary I was– I went to a conference on food
services in higher education. There were people there from
the Marriott chain who had in those days were doing quite
a bit of campus food services and one of the men gave a talk that was very illuminating
for me. He said, you know, we
have reorganized the way in which people get
together to eat on campuses, moving from dining to grazing. You know many of us
when we were in college, in our younger days we
actually sat at a table with other people, we’re served
a meal and we did not always sit with the same people and
we learned the stories, we learned how to
interact with– with different people from
different backgrounds, studying in different
areas preparing for– for different professions. But, the Marriott people said
you know these days the design of a typical eating
area on a University or a College campus is that of
a series of grazing stations. I was on a college campus
recently and they took me into the– what they
call the dining hall. Well, you walk in and
you go to the salad bar, you get your salad you
go back and maybe sit with a few people while
you’re eating your salad. Then you get up and you go
to either the sandwich place or the hot meal place, and
you may go back for seconds and you may actually sit at
2 or 3 or 4 different tables. And, then dessert is typically
grabbing the yogurt cone on the way out at
the yogurt machine and you’re actually
walking out of the– the cafeteria while
you’re eating your dessert. And, there’s very
little interaction there. And, in many ways and the
Marriott people said this too. This grazing pattern is
typical of family today. And, it’s not necessarily
an intentional defect but we’re grandparents and we
hear about this, Felis and I, soccer games, concerts,
music lessons, church activities are
very much on the run. And, I think our son and daughter in-law
do a pretty good job of maintaining the family meal
but it’s so easy for the home to become a series of grazing
stations and moments of grazing. And, I think one of the things
that we can do as educators is to think about ways in which
we can get people to sit and talk to each other. Sometimes we may have
to offer free meals or something else
in order to do it. But, we need to find ways. And, in each of our
institutions including, the Huntington Library, people come from very different
backgrounds in our case and a number of other cases
very different nations, different tribal and racial and ethnic backgrounds
certain different religious perspectives, and, we
need to see ourselves as among other things,
workshops and civility, training for being city folks,
learning how to interact with each other in
the public square. And I think it’s an important
challenge for us even it’s just to think together, how can
we educate for civility? And what are the conditions in
our culture that we can address for us educators as political
leaders in the city as people from a variety of religious
and other social agencies and other areas of service,
businesses, and the like? How can we in the
city, promote civility? Frankly, I want to say,
I think the Tournament of Roses is a very civil event. I think that the spirit of that, there are times I wish we could
package that and find ways, what people from very different
backgrounds are joining together and enjoying some
of the same things. And I think Pasadena
does a pretty good of that in a number of ways. But I think we could
be more intentional about the civility dimension of
our participation and the way in which we design and
structure public space and the events in
our public space. And last I want to say to you
that the more I’ve thought about this, the more I see
this is a genuine challenge in moral in, I want to
say spiritual formation. There’s a need to cultivate
the kind of humility. It’s one thing to have strong
convictions, it’s another thing to simply refuse to
listen to other people to ask them what they believe,
I’d happened to be invited to this, so years ago now to
speak in the Mormon Tabernacle through a large group of
the [inaudible] of Mormons and some other people
representing other faiths. And I said, “You know, as
an Evangelical Christian, I want to apologize to
the Mormon community. We’ve often told you
what you believe rather than ask you what you believe.” I got hate mail yesterday about
that, I’m still getting that, you know, and it just seems like
such a simple point to make. And if you really care about
the truth, if you really care about defending the
truth, ask people rather than learning the risk of
distorting what they believe, we just had earlier today a
wonderful Jewish Christian dialogue event where we
learn so much from each other and that pasture of
learning and the humility of the one little sermon
piece here, I mean Psalm 1:39, one of my verse, favorite
songs, the Psalm says at one point says,
“Lord, I hate your enemies with a perfect hatred.” You know, that sounds
very arrogant, look, you and I are in the same side. And then it says if he
stops when he says, “Oops,” and then the next verse says,
“Search me and know my thoughts and see if there be
any wicked way in me.” And whether we’re religious or
not, I think we need to think about what’s going on in me? What do I need to learn in
that pasture of humility? I’ll close with a
personal example, the time that I felt
pretty good about myself on the civility thing, I was going in through
a Bond’s parking lot and I saw a parking space,
pretty crowded lot, and I saw it and I pulled in and a
horn started blowing and it was clear somebody
was really upset and I turn and she was upset
with me, the driver and she gave me the middle
finger and shook her fist and, obviously, yelling some things
at me that I couldn’t hear, she was clearly, and I realized
that I had taken the space that she have been waiting for. And she drove away fast
but I got out of the car and I noticed she parked on
the other side of the lot, a more distance spot, so I
went over and she was getting out of the car and I said,
“Ma’am, I just I want to tell you I’m the guy
who you got so upset with and I don’t blame you. I didn’t know you were waiting
for that slot and I took it without thinking and I just
want to tell you, I’m sorry.” And she said, “I don’t have time
for this,” she started to cry. She said, “If you just knew
the kind of day that I’ve had,” and she turned around
and stamped away and then she stopped,
she just turned around with tears streaming down
her face, she said, “Thank you.” And I’ve felt really
good about myself. [Laughter] Two weeks later, I returned to the Ahern’s
Rental Car at an airport and I just made it in two
minutes before the deadline where I would have to
pay that high extra fee. And the attendant who was
checking the other car and just still talking
to the guy and I went over the 2 minutes. And he came and he– I was
a minute over, and he said, “You’re going to have
to pay the extra hour.” And I said, “No, no, I was
here, you saw me, you know.” He said, “I’m sorry, sir, I got to go with
what’s written there.” And I said, “Well, I’m going
to complain about this, I’m not going to pay it.” And I got really angry with him. And a supervisor came over,
obviously, aware of some kind of turmoil in the
lot, middle aged, African-American woman walked
over and she said to us, “What’s going on here?” And she said, “This guy didn’t
want to pay the extra hour and I checked him in late.” And I said, “Yeah, but he was
talking at a guy upfront.” And so she just started “hold
it,” she said to her employee, “Go away, I’ll take
care of this.” He handed her the– she
walked away and she looked at and she said, “You don’t
have to pay, it’s okay.” And I said, “Well, of
course, I don’t have to pay.” [Laughter] And she said,
“honey, you need a hug.” [Laughter] And she hugged me. [Laughter] And then
I’m like the woman in the other parking
lot, I said, “Thank you.” And I think we need more hugs in parking lots,
thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Thank you Dr. Mouw [laughs]. A lot to consider and I’m sure
much that we can follow up with in the course of
our conversation with our panelist
this afternoon. Let me get to the introductions
of our panels who will be up here on the dais today. But first, when he arrived as
president of Art Center College of Design, our first panelist
walked onto an uncertain campus, the previous year that college
have faced particularly tough times with many students
and faculty members turning on the previous president
to offer his plans for a Frank Gehry
design campus expansion. As the new president arrived
in October of 2009, I’m sure, all his words and actions were
being very closely scrutinized to determine what his priorities
would be, facilities expansion, improving the current buildings,
slowing down rising tuition. That doesn’t even
take in to account, the run of the Mill
campus politics, all of our panelists
know all too well. I’m sure that he’ll have a
lot to say about civility, the president of
Art Center College of Design, Lorne Buchman. [ Applause ] He is only the 8th president
in his school’s history, it’s the intellectual,
scientific, and engineering powerhouse
known around the world, perhaps, even in space, thanks
to JPL’s missions, the California Institute
of Technology. Our next panelist
arrived at Caltech in 2006 to lead an institution
that’s still proudly intimate for students but with a massive
footprint in academe, science, and the space program. Perhaps, one of Caltech’s
biggest challenge isn’t in providing a superb
education for the gifted student but in balancing the
whole person at Caltech, given its intense academic
demands in cutting edge science. Joining us, the president of
Caltech, Jean-Lou Chameau. [ Applause ] It’s an institution that, as far
as I know, is completely unique, a combination, art
museum, botanical gardens, and historical research
center and archives. We know it casually
as the Huntington, a place that not only
enjoys the loyalty of the thousands each year
who visit but of a staff that seems particularly proud
and appreciative of working in such a beautiful setting. Like so many other
institutions, likely, everyone that’s represented
here today, the Huntington recently faced
its own financial challenges in operating its huge facility,
paying its whole staff. From what I’ve read, the Huntington’s president
is being given a high marks for his handling
of that challenge which is a very tough thing, trying to serve a vast outside
public and the people that work so hard, so diligently for the
mission of your institution, the president of the Huntington
Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens,
Steven Koblik. [ Applause ] Our next panelist is the newest
to his position, taking the helm of Pacific Oaks College
just this year. He presides over an institution
that’s undergone big change in the past couple of years. Pacific Oaks is now
part of the network of TCS educational system, a nonprofit that
includes organizations across the country. However, it is still locally
based devoted the Quaker values of peace and tolerance and
educating students for work in education and related fields. The student population
is over 90 percent female and the average age of the
student at Pacific Oaks is 39, distinctly different makeup
than other schools in our area, so previously, the
provost of Nicholas College in Massachusetts, CEO of the
firm education advisory group, now the president of Pacific
Oaks College, Ezat Parnia. [ Applause ] Finally, the president of
our largest local institution and one that is very,
very close to my heart, Pasadena City College. I worked at PCC for
nearly 20 years and even though we had
beautiful studios at KPCC on the South Raymond, I
still miss the college. There is no place, as far
as I’m concerned, like it. I assume, even with all of
the challenges financially that it faces, it’s
still a remarkable place. Community colleges, as you all
know, facing huge budget cuts and demand for student
enrollment is through the roof as you typically see
within economic downturn, huge challenge running a
community college today. Everything you and your board
try to do to balance the budget in limit cuts is going
to be criticized, you just know that going in. You’ll constantly be
accused of destaining input. But at the same time, it’s so
hard to get practical solutions of the challenges that you
face from the great people who are telling you what a
terrible job you’re doing and trying to solve the problem. I’ve heard politics on that
campus can be also a little bit interesting just
someone’s told about that. He arrived at PCC from West Los
Angeles College in mid 2010, the president of Pasadena
City College, Mark Rocha. [ Applause ] Gentlemen, I’m counting on you to really sink your
teeth into this. I know that you work
in an environment where anything you say
during a recorded event like this could be used
against you, taking out context to show how insensitive
you are, how misguided, your priorities are all wrong,
so we know that going in. But it would my intent to push
you nonetheless to say things that really express how you
feel about this and to take on the challenges you’re
facing on your campus. The audience is laughing but I trust you’re
really going to do this. Let me begin, first of all,
by getting a quick response to what we heard in our
keynote address, your response to the comments from
a man who comes from his own personal
phase as well as his study of human nature. Let me begin with you,
Dr. Buchman, your response to what we just heard.>>I think his right, actually. [Laughter] Fundamentally,
it’s interesting to me that the whole issue of
difference and our capacity as a culture and as a society to congregate difference is the
most pressing problem we have. We arguably have gone
from a 20th century that was preoccupied with
issues of ideology to a kind of politics of identity today. And it’s interesting to me
that the fear of the stranger that the issue of kind of facing
what we don’t know, the other and the threat of the
other contains toward us as human beings seems to be a
trigger for us to come forward and lose a kind of
basic willingness to engage in a civil way. That incivility is
somehow a part of fear, it’s a part of threat, it’s
a part of struggling with, somehow, acknowledging or certain superiority
over another. And ultimately, I actually
think that it’s wonderful that education institutions
are coming together here because I don’t know of a
better path to human dignity, I don’t know of a better
way to resolute the issue of identity than for education. And I would say, particularly,
that education and the world of higher education is a place
where identity can be wrestled with where we can understand
the problems and the situations that plagued us in our
fear of the stranger and that particularly
it won’t surprise you, art and design education that fundamentally honors
the imagination that is about collaboration, that
is about saying something and looking at it in a way
that’s never been seen before which, arguably, is the greatest and most sacred pass
of the artist with. I would say, within
that environment that we could really begin
to wrestle with that issue.>>I’d even say, you know, at your institution ’cause
I’ve seen your student body incredibly diverse. You have students from
around the world and part of what you’re encouraging
them to do of course, is to take risk, to put
themselves out there to potentially endure
ridicule, harsh critique, and so they’re trying to build
their resiliency to be able to hear that, to be able to do
that and to not be so devastated or to lash out against
that, but to be able to work collaboratively
is a huge thing. I want to talk more about
that as we continue.>>Okay, okay. All right.>>Do you want just
to add some, yeah.>>Well, I was just going to
say that the balance is that, you know, I like to think
we teach people courage, that’s what we’re doing, we’re
teaching them the courage of their conviction and to be
through the artistic process and through the design process
to have the courage to be at people to say what they need
to say, to solve the problems that they need to solve. But there are also a disruptive
force in our culture too. Artist need to tell us things that were not comfortable
hearing, and so, it’s an interesting balance of
giving them the courage to do it but understanding that
there’s a way of communicating and creating a balance,
that’s very important.>>And encouraging
artist to listen as well. Just ’cause you’re an
artist, it doesn’t mean that you have some platform
where you’re not immune to having to engage
with critiques.>>I think compassionate
and empathy and listening is
crucial to them. So therefore, I think
[inaudible]>>Doctor Chameau, your response
the Doctor Mouw’s key note?>>First being, I’m
sorry [inaudible] I like the part about dining. [Laughter] And I do agree
with you that on the level of this family unit,
it is a lost act, and I think this is something
we should pay attention too. Maybe, it does [inaudible]
the quality of the food too, but it’s not. [Laughter] So I think
it is, you know, it was. I know you are trying
to be a bit [inaudible] but I think it was
an important point. Being civil starts
learning when you’re at home, within your family. One point I will somewhat
disagree with you, so we are allowed to disagree?>>Good, yes, yes,
you’re encouraged.>>Is that you, unless
I misunderstood you, you tried to imply a belief
that part of the issue has to do with the level of education and
maybe people are maybe there is, you know, a recurring theme
that we believe in here. You can show the level is
declining in a down swing. And I’m not sure if it is
really education per se. To a large level our political
figures are educated or supposed to be educated, but maybe
more relative to less interest in learning and you
see, that specially in political configures,
they’re saying they’re educated but they don’t want
to learn new thing, they are afraid of new thing. And so there is– there
may be a slight to know. I’m not saying I
disagree with you or with a slight default
view of the question. Couple of point I would like
to add to what you say, in one, since we go from art to
engineering and science and technology here, one
which we left with technology. I think I do believe
that we maybe most civil than we give our
self credit for. We have an issue I think
which is to be overconnected. We live in a world where the
reason of hyper connection. Whatever is being said at a
given time goes over the world in a matter of seconds. And because of that, what
is more exciting is not to have two people who agree,
but two people who disagree and sometimes we are
fighting over an issue. So the life of civility
of that you received of course among political figure
and so on is being amplified to an extreme level that’s the
only thing people pay attention to because it goes very quickly. The point I would like to
make I think, it is critical for the belief force to
be more civil as a nation because if we are not more civil
as a nation, how do we expect to get along and work with all
the other nations in a world. And I think it’s a
point that you try to make but I would like to–>>What do you mean by them
more civil as a nation?>>More civil as a nation means
to have which was described, a level of discuss, of
discussion, to be able to argue with each other, but
do it in a way that is, that it is constructive,
that allow people to agree, to disagree and to be consensus
in some way which we seem to have been losing
especially at the level above the nation
and level of the–>>Say American people,
yeah, all right, very good. Let’s see, Doctor
Koblik, your take on this.>>I really wanted to put on a
hat as a historian for a second and look at Richard’s comments,
you know, in that context and I want to contrast the
story he told about meeting his, this Congressman friend and the
friend saying the things are worst than you think,
and then to talk briefly about there’s a fundamental
instability in our sub-society which is worth, which
were also reflected on. Unfortunately, historians
have this nasty way of actually looking at things. And so when you talk, it
maybe worst than we think at the national level but
I want to remind everyone that this country was conceived
in extraordinary violence in which among other
things, at least two of the founding fathers
had duel with each other about something silly. And that–>>Are you suggesting we
return to that to resolve. [Laughter]>>That well, I just wanted to
point out that conjugal periods when Congress has
been much rougher, fist fights, knifings,
et cetera. We’re not unusual
in the 19th Century. We had something
called the Civil war that killed an extraordinarily
high percentage of the people living in
this country to free some of our fellow citizens. And certainly, the
civility in the 20th Century in the house has not
always been the case. So I started out
with that observation which I know you know. The other thing is and to some
extend, I think it goes along with what John Lewis
is talking about. I’m not convinced that
there’s a fundamental in civility in this country. I do think as Larry said
in the introduction. There’s an enormous amount
of fear in the country, it’s a very, very
difficult time, we’ve come through a period
and I’m not really thinking about the Second World
War, Civil Rights Movement, and then really frankly,
the decline of the family which is you, I think
correctly pointed out has been such a central part of
how people learn how to interact with each other. But we know the numbers, the
statistics related to that. What always strikes me
and I’m not a foreigner but I live a lot abroad and
I miss being in California in particular when I’m abroad
because we are so different and it’s the difference which
makes California so exciting. And I think all of us know
that we walk down the street, we’re going to interact
with people who are not the same as us. At least for me, that
gives my life meaning and I always rush back
here as soon as I can. So, and I think a lot
of people feel that way. We’re having as a difficulty
with public discourse and I think the public
discourse, the difficulties there are
a product of a whole bunch of things that some of which,
I thought Larry was getting at and we can return to.>>All right, Doctor
Koblik, thank you. Doctor Parnia?>>Well, I’d like to agree
with Richard about that we are in a crisis and I also agree
with Steve that in fact, we had– had more past
violent among our politician in Washington DC, but
it wasn’t the time that if somebody said
something, it was transmitted around the world and most of
that remained in Washington. When representative, Joel
Wilson screamed that you lied to President Obama in 2009, I
think that was transmitted all over the world and of course,
the children of this country and I feel that the politicians in Washington DC are setting a
very bad example for the rest of us in terms of what we need
to do, in terms of civility. And I really feel that there’s
more can be done among the politicians but right now, the
rating in terms of Congress, it’s a 7 percent in
terms of approval rating and almost 98 percent of the
Congress get elected every year. So we have a work to do, you
know, in terms of citizens and for them to be informed
so they can do a better job and of course, education
plays a very important role in that direction. So we have a lot of work to
do and of course, you know, we we’re talking earlier
in terms of K through 12 and how much education
happens there that in fact, it has gone backward
in many ways. So and that’s where the civility
starts by the way, you know, among the children and of course
in the home and all of that, and I have some stats that I’ll
show with you in terms of TV and the amount of
information now a day that the kids are exposed to. And you know, it’s all about
incivility rather than civility.>>All right, and Doctor Marty, you mentioned a 7 percent
approval rating for Congress. Remember there is
a margin of error. I’m highly skeptical
just high as 7, that could be as
low as 4 percent. So just– [Laughter] Not to slip hairs. Dr. Rocha, your response
to Dr. Mouw, expose your other
panelist to this point.>>Yeah. Thank you Larry,
first of all I’m very grateful to Dr. Mouw’s book which
I did read and, you know, I though I have the– I’m
from the public side here and among my colleagues and
I know I have the distinction of being the only one of us
who appeared on the front page of the Star News in front
of a student protest on the administration steps
and so I had an opportunity to practice some civility there
because they have a whole bunch of students that I can’t get
my classes and they’re yelling at you and calling
your names and so on and so it was a real test. And a couple of things came
to mine, one the, you know, the phrase from the Bible, a
soft answer turneth away wrath. And I tried to focus on that
as a mantra as I was listening and then as I was, you know,
kind of moving through that, you know, I think the other
thing that kind of tied into that that I read in
the book, Richard was– it’s wonderful idea that
of– our God is a slow God, you know God is slow and so, you
know, I’ve been really struck by the ideas here about how
important a civility rests in terms of really the almost
not raising your voice, the softness of one’s
voice, patience and those kinds of
ethical values. I would say as a side
bar of that event on campus I learned a great
deal, and that the one way, we actually found a way. I found a way to speak civilly
to my faculty union president because both of us
appeared on Larry’s show. [Laughter] It’s the most civil
conversation that we’ve had and it shows that there’re
a number of pathways. This time I want to say
just from the public side of the street, you know, and
I’ll call this ‘The Parable of the 10 Blankets,” I do
agree with Steve that I think that certainly there’s– I’m an English teacher by
trade certainly the coarseness of our discourse at the level
of screaming and hollering. I mean we just have to be
role models for changing that but at the same time I have
to say that the community that I’m in is quite civil. I see public service all around, I see some of my
colleagues here, and it is for the
great part I’m amazed at how civil it is
because, you know, my parable with the 10 blankets
is things are getting really rough right now because,
you know, few years ago or 10 years ago or whenever
the money was good, you know, we were all– there were 10 of
us, you know, let’s just say in a room and all of us, you
know, had beds and each one of us had a blanket, okay? And we slept comfortably
at night, all right, every day we good
night sleep and so on. And then the state
showed up and said, “Okay, we only have 8 blankets
now,” okay? And so those of us who are
charged, we should stand and starts, you know, to get
in the discussion and say, “Who doesn’t get the blankets?” You know, who– so and I
think a lot of the discussion that is really strenuous and
strange and so it comes from, you know, the real issues
which are contentious, I mean we’re talking about, you
know, having to make priorities that we’d never had made before. And I’ll leave it there and
perhaps come back there. There’s a wonderful passage in
Dr. Mouw’s book about leadership and I think one of the thing is
about how we really has to work on transformational leadership
and something that we– I certainly I have fall
short to the mark up but we need to fix on as a goal.>>I want to take your point
Dr. Rocha and kind of weave it in with some of the
other things there said. I think you’re absolutely right
that today public debates take on this very high
stakes nature to it. Some of which is
absolutely authentic that you’re talking
about fuel resources. People feeling like in
the case of PCC students, it’s going to take many
years to get through. I can’t get classes, I can’t
afford to keep doing it, you know, that kind of
pressure that they feel. But I think there’s
even more than that. I think there was a feeling
because of this high fear level of anxiety that we’ve
been talking about where everything takes on
ultimate stakes, they kind of, you know, low level fires,
every thing’s an inferno and everything has to be
fought with all guns blazing. So how do we get some
perspective on some of this? Understanding there are some
of the serious life and death or serious economic challenges,
other things that are about people feeling
disrespected that had more to do with ego than actually, you
know, real life differences and people’s own
fears to insecurity. How do we address and
get some perspective on things first of all?>>Well, all I can say in that and certainly there’s
more wisdom here that I think the function of
our leadership has to be to try and create a safe
environment o– I mean the people on my campus,
the students are being injured and so I think it’s
incumbent upon us to try and create an environment where
that discussion can happen. That also say just quickly
that part of civility and part of the answer to your
question, it has something to do with what I would call, you
know, generational generosity, that there’s a sense that and
certainly our students feel, there’s a sense of, “Well,
hey you guys got through and you guys got, you
know, public education and everything that’s
good and so on and now you’re turning
around, the money’s tight and we’re getting hit. That’s a legiti– I think>>Part of this is legitimate
but let me push back on that because part of the other side of that id we have many
more people going to college than we ever had going to
college and the percent of people going to college has
grown more than the percentage of the total population
that pay taxes. So part of it, I understand
you feeling as soon as they got there,
that’s what I mean, the other is there’s
something real that has changed significantly
in the intervening years. Part of this I think is
looking at the totality of it doesn’t invalidate
the student’s concerns or what it means to
them individually, but it’s a more complicated
picture than just they got theirs
why can I get my part.>>Right.>>Well, I think is, you know,
for us it’s certainly a debate like one of the great debates
in our culture politically, public education, K-12,
community colleges and so on is what is the nature
of the public role? Are we going to, you
know, are we going to– does the pubic have a role–
and so I certainly I think one of the keys to civility is to
recall historically the notion of Frank-linian’s self interest. We’re so polarized now
between the, you know, cut your taxes kind of
socialism scales of the debate. Now when you really need to go
back to our own history and look at Benjamin Franklin’s
autobiography and his enlighten to self-interest is
that I have a book, Ezat [phonetic] has got a
book, we each have one book but if we put it into the middle and make a library we
now have two books.>>All right.>>And so.>>Let’s get some other folks
here into the mix on this. Anyway, I find it
interesting more people go into college than ever before. We have more college graduates. Colleges are supposed to be the
place where we’re challenged to think outside
of our own biases, move away from just what our
parents told us was reality, to analyze, to think,
to process stuff and yet it seems despite all these
college graduates coming out, fundamentalist thinking
is often prevailing. People falling into safe
places thinking down the line, you meet someone after
5 minutes, you know, exactly where they’re going
to line up on all the issues and the individual
thinking seems to have fallen by the way side. How have we gotten this point
when higher education is exposed to more people than ever before?>>If I can comment and
then I’d like to join Mark. I think one of the reasons
we see every thing’s kind of getting out of hand is
because of the resources. There’s a limited resources and
we have to do more with less. Now that brings us to the notion
of taxation, are we willing to pay and educate our
citizens and the workforce or are we rather just
basically say “No taxes” at the same time go and
go do it on your own. I think that’s going to emerge
in the months to come and years to come in terms of what’s
our willingness to invest in the future of the country.>>And that certain– I mean
this fits what you’re talking about in your campuses
and higher education, but this trend toward incivility
predates the economic downturn. It predates these huge cuts that
you had at your institutions. So clearly it’s more
than just the fact of economic crisis
and fewer resources.>>I think it’s coincident
with the internet, with increase travel
with the fact that as Dr. Chameau said
things travel in an instant and we are exposed to
difference immediately now and again our own
identity becomes threatened in that process and it
unleashes a kind of a violence. And I believe very strongly that
conversation is the antidote.>>Well, it’s funny ’cause we
ridicule, you know, our parents and grandparents’ generations
for being emotionally locked up and not really letting out,
having a feel about things. And so, all kinds of
things that they do, the motivation is unclear because we didn’t
really know that. So now we live in this
era where we say we want to know how people
feel about things, not just what they think. But now it seems we
don’t know how to deal with those emotions
’cause they make us mad or they are condemnatory or
the emotion shut off debate. So it’s part of this
learning how to be more open and deal with our feelings?>>If we keep saying those
things, it becomes more and more depressing, okay? [Laughter] [Inaudible
Remark] I tend to be relatively
still optimistic and I have faith
in young people–>>And good food.>>And part of my– that
too, you know, and wine too. And I am and my colleagues
are in an environment where we do impact young people. So given all those issue, I
think we should try as leaders to focus on what we
can do, you know. I don’t wake up every
morning trying to solve the problems
in Washington. I have limited influence
on that. And I’ll give you an example
of what I view is important, at least we try to do at Caltech
is to make young people realize that collaboration can be more
important than competition. It’s important to compete
with yourself to be the best but to collaborate,
I think that’s where the success will be. Try to help them to learn
how to live and interact in a social environment. Coming back to the issues that
we have at the family level, we have young people who
come out of great families but they have not learned how
to live in a social environment. And we do things, we try
to help them do that. All those things we can do
in not only the president but people who are
in leadership, in universities including
the faculty. We have to show in our
behavior that we are civil and we are setting an example. I always tell people,
most important part of my job is to remain calm. Only, you know, people
don’t come to my office with nice stories. When they come to my
office, there is a problem. [Laughter] So, remaining
calm, listening to people, communicating in times of
trouble are the kinds of thing that we can do and I believe
at each level and actually, all of the president or
whatever position you have in your community to try
to achieve those goals. Over time you’re having
fun, so I still believe in the [simultaneous talking].>>Well, and I think that
makes absolute sense. The more people are
able to work together and see each other
as human, the better. I’m just going to say though,
I think one of the problems is and I think so many of us in
our workplace to see this, people I work with are
great but most of them live in similar parts of town. Their friends hold
similar views. They vacation in
the same places. They read the same books. They read the same
online publications, they read the same blogs. It’s its own cocoon and
they drive the same cars. And so– [Laughter] So, how do
you give, I mean if we are wired as humans beings to have
in group and out group, that’s just part of
our survival mechanism. And our in group is this tiny
little in group, then how, how do we feel safe
enough to go outside of our cloistered environment
and to make a much bigger in group and people that
are outside bring them in.>>I want– I’ll come to
that but I want to start out by taking Mark’s side
versus your hard questioning. And you were pushing him about so many people
graduating from college. It’s a kind of an
uninteresting statistic. Of course, more people are
graduating from college. We live in an information-based
society and the jobs that the society produces
needs a level of education that didn’t need to
occur 50 years ago. What you missed saying, which
I think is much more germane that 40 years ago, the
United States had the highest percentage of adults
who are educated at colleges and universities. Today, we’re at the
bottom of the second 10. As a matter of fact, we’re
being outcompeted by nations around the world who are
investing money in education.>>That’s the highest
percentage of people, college graduates
we’ve ever had now.>>That’s right.>>That’s not true.>>Yes, it is true but it’s
also very low internationally. What’s happened is
that around the world, there has been an understanding that you need advanced
education in order to compete. So the fact that people are
going more to colleges is because they can’t get jobs
to sustain their families and their lives as adults
without that education.>>But my point is if
you’re exposed to college, isn’t college the place
where you learn to take in outside things, not shut
down the [simultaneous talking].>>Not necessarily,
don’t– don’t. I would disagree with Lorne
in terms of the wonderful, most formal educational
institution.>>College I went to, I
sure was exposed to that but you don’t think
that’s the case.>>I’m not going to ask
what you were exposed to because I don’t
want to embarrass you. [Laughter] But I do want to
point out that as Rich did, that colleges are not this
remarkable place of learning. The cultural wars which
have been involved in all of these are very much a
product of the universities in a positive sense,
if you will. Unlike Jean-Lou I
have been trained to see the optimistic
view of everything, otherwise we wouldn’t have
the jobs that we have. But I do want to
point out that we need to have more college graduates or at least better,
better learning folk. And I like Jean-Lou’s
notion about learning rather than education because the jobs
of tomorrow will demand that. And we don’t have a learning
culture in this society. As one of my colleague
said, I think it was Lorne as we were talking about this,
we have an entertainment culture and that’s not a
learning culture. And so we are not– we’re
frankly getting outcompeted because we’re not producing
what we need to produce in our educational systems
to compete internationally. So that’s and at the top, like
most of the institutions here, we’re doing very well. But it’s the mass base. So the fact that we have
more college graduates from my perspective is good
and we shouldn’t close it off. So that leads to
[simultaneous talking].>>Yeah, I’m sorry, I wasn’t
arguing fewer people should go to school. My point is if they are going
to school, civility is something that should come in the process and you’re just saying
that’s just, that’s not real.>>I would take learning
over civility frankly, but that’s my own, my own view.>>You can’t have both? Wait, wait. There is– yeah.>>We have both.>>It would be nice to have
both but I really want to get at this issue of priorities. Because if, to take
Mark’s question, the society which I thought
was the right question. If the society has a
responsibility to ensure that most of our 18 to 30
year olds have the opportunity for post-secondary
education, and I think they do, I would argue that for the
nature of a civil society, we need an educated public, then
we need to educate the students and the students
become the priority.>>But you’re just saying that education doesn’t
correlate with civility.>>I didn’t think
it necessarily does.>>So–>>I said that the society
needs educated people and that doesn’t guarantee
they’re going to be civil.>>Right.>>Okay. But you had, I thought,
introduced this issue in a way that somehow that we have
all these people in college and they’re not civil. Well, going to college doesn’t
necessarily make you civil.>>Should it?>>Well, that’s a very
interesting question that lots of different colleges
talk about but frankly, most of us don’t
do much about it. So that–>>So you’re all here though. I mean is this something that
you should commit to as part of the mission of
higher education?>>It depends on,
from my perspective and I was a college
president as you know, it depends on what the other
aspect of your mission is. And if I have to give a
choice, if I have to choose between developing people
skills intellectually and developing their critical
skills, I will lave civility to other institutions.>>See, I’d say you can’t
be intellectually developed without civility, I would argue. I don’t think it’s possible. Go ahead.>>May I interject for a second. I mean, one assumption you
are making that every college and university in the
United States attempts to educate students
become culture based and understand the
culture and therefore, respect other cultures
and other groups. That’s not the reality of it but
the exception of some schools, for instance, community
colleges and others. Most of the institutions
are operating very much in terms of dominant culture. I come from northeast and having
been here for about four months, I’m just amazed about the
diversity of Los Angeles and the culture of
different cities and towns. This is the future
of America, you know. When you go to northeast
and I came from a school that was 95 percent white and
they have no understanding of what’s going on
around the country and imagine they don’t get
any education whatsoever when it comes to intercultural
understanding and values, and then we expect these
students to graduate and go to the workplace and
understand other cultures. So this is a fundamental
problem in the higher education that we haven’t really discussed
and we don’t want to address. And I think at some point
it’s going to come to head because with the exception of
some schools and of course, the Pacific Oaks College and
Children’s School happens to be a very diverse
environment. You know, 98 percent
women in terms of gender but when it comes to diversity,
almost 38 percent Latino, 10 percent African American,
and we have the social justice and culture based education, anti-biased education
is the fundamentals of the mission of
the institution. And I can tell you, you know for
the 4 months I’ve spent here, it’s one of the most civil
environments I’ve ever been. We have people from all walk of
life, backgrounds and culture and they come to a classroom,
and the way they learn because of course they are in
the real environment, you know. Sometimes they have the fears
but it’s the top leaders and our faculty that make clear
from the day 1 that they have to respect one another and
that basically carry back to the communities.>>Let me, so let me
ask you a question. If a student comes to
Pacific Oaks and says and during the course of talking
about education, the population of public schools saying, I think illegal immigration
is a terrible thing and it has decimated
public schools. We need to send people back to
Mexico who are here illegally, takes a hard line,
a very, you know, hard line on illegal
immigration. At your school, is that
person going to be turned on and shouted down or is there
going to be a civil conversation after that person expressed
where people really engaged on whether that’s irrational
constructive argument.>>Very good question. In fact, when I first came,
I visited almost like 10 or 12 classes and in every one of them faculty created
a very safe environment. Anybody with any kind of point of view they can
express themselves but in the Pacific Oaks
College that person will be able to hear the view of a
person that’s an immigrant and he has been here in this
country and kind of trying to make a living and
therefore, they have a contact with that person
right there and then, rather than stating
something and then hearing it through the news
or someone else. So it’s that kind of interaction
that really makes it civil. But the role of the faculty
is very important in this because they are managing
the classroom, you know, and they have to balance
this kind of point of views. Unfortunately, this doesn’t
happen in every academic city. And because the faculty
just not trained and they don’t have the
skills, if you will, and they don’t have a– and of course it’s a very
fearful thing, you know, bringing up this kind of
difference in the classroom. And if you’re not
trained, you’re going to be very much in
a disadvantage. So we are really facing
some tough questions in higher education that we
have to address and of course, prepare the population for a
country that’s becoming more and more diverse and
you cannot rule it back, you know 50 million now in this
country are Latino population, right? And–>>You know, I’d like
to add that and maybe to Steve’s very civil
disagreement with me about the quality and the
power of college education. I just want to tell
my experience and what I see happening within
Art Center College of Design in which, you know, our students
are wrestling with issues that are fundamentally
transforming who they are as human beings. We have a program through
an NGO studies we have with United Nations
called the Design Matters in which our students are going to troubled corners
of the world. They are going to
Santiago, Chile. They are going to Peru. They are going to Kenya. They are working
with communities not from a privileged perch in
Pasadena but directly engaging with communities that
have issues and problems of a very deep nature. And it’s the creative
imagination engaging with these communities that
is producing solutions to and real workable solutions
to what it is they’re doing. And you watch these students,
they travel there, they engage, they are– have these
communities that are absolutely
falling in love with them with huge gratitude
and appreciation. And they come back
transformed as human beings. In my college education I never
had an experience like that. And I will say this
about the millennials, at least those Art Center. They may be looking for work but they are fundamentally
looking for meaningful work. Many of them deeply care about
who they are in the culture, how they are contributing
to that culture, the difference they are
making and it is education, education at Art Center anyway, that is giving them the
opportunity to do that. To interact, to collaborate
on teams, you have a graphic designer
and you have a photographer and you have a film maker,
and you have an advertiser, all coming together to really
work from their various points of view to make something
happen and to make change, that is transforming them. That is the beginning I
think of the conversation, of the discourse, that
will allow for a society that maybe can reach the
next level of civility.>>It’s great, that’s
very impressive. Let’s talk about some
terms because I think a lot of the language that we
use plays in to a kind of polarization and
lack of civility. Maybe you have your own,
I certainly have my terms and I see them on– throughout
the political spectrum. I mean, the whole idea that
you know pro-life has come in to the lexicon, meaning
that if you’re in favor of abortion rights,
you’re against life. Pro or you know, pro-abortion,
for example, mean-spirited, a term that we often here. The left uses it frequently
about people on the right as though they hate poor people and that’s the only reason
why they would propose their particular political solutions. Even the term social
justice, I would argue, is a polarizing term that shuts
off debate because it implies that if you’d only hold to the same solutions
somehow you don’t believe in justice for people. And so I’d like to hear
your thoughts on this. Is part of the language that
we use cutting off the chance to dialogue?>>Yeah, you know,
I’m glad you used the, refer to the term social
justice and I absolutely think that the language that
we’re using is cutting off– cutting us off from dialogue. Social justice itself is almost
a topic we don’t even consider anymore, okay. The idea that anyone serious
would go into the public arena that you know, public
spaces as you term and actually make an argument
for social justice today. The community college
was invented as an American invention
of social justice. We were founded in 1924. Jackie Robinson is
our alum, okay. Harbison [phonetic],
President Harbison who was a Quaker was the first
college president in the country to invite back a
Japanese student from the internment camp. And so, it seems to me
that one of the things that is contributing to this
kind of heated argument is that, again, from the public
perspective is like well, social justice, well, we
use to be able to afford that but now we can’t. So let’s not talk
about it, okay. Look, for example, okay,
take the, you know, the healthcare debate, okay,
which was so heated, you know, 3 years ago when
President Obama and so on and created the Tea
Party and so on. Is healthcare a human
right or not? And it’s like it’s unthinkable
to, you know, you’re just going to have this argument over
whether basic rights–>>But see, that’s
a legitimate ar– I think that’s a very legitimate
argument to have and much of the healthcare debate
is really about that issue that doesn’t get directed.>>What the academy
is about is being able to provide an environment
where that debate can go on. What kind of society
do we want to have? And of course, we’re going
to disagree about it. But education in this
country was founded as a private institution. When Lorne talks about it
I’m very much aware of it. The– I’ve seen those students. We have students from
PCC who go to Art Center, transferred to Art Center,
and have that experience. But you’re talking
about a few students. And what we’ve always been able
to do in this country is fight for the opportunity that
every single one of us gets to have that experience. And that’s what we’re
letting go off and I think that what’s leading to
some of the incivilities. So one of things,
you know, just to– instead of just ranting
myself, you know, one of the things I really think
that we could do as presidents and I’m so grateful for
this opportunity, I mean, remember my college
presidents had a voice and they actually talked. [Laughter] And they weren’t
administrators and they were, you know, they actually
were leaders and they had a moral voice
and they had a social voice and they actually
talked about, so on. Now you’re so afraid to
say anything, you know, and our discourse
has devolved so much. So you know, I really
do think that it’s– we need to embark on a project. We know what works,
forming community, engaging relationships,
and so on. But really, it’s the
function of leadership to create an environment
where that kind of dialogue can happen, so.>>All right. Anyone want to follow
up on that? No. Let’s talk about
listening because I mean, so stating the obvious to
say that civility goes part and parcel with not
listening to other people or giving them weight
or considering that. What can we societally, higher
education and outside of that do to encourage people
to really listen, to be able to hear each other and to give each other
enough respect to be willing to without stacking the
deck honestly respond?>>Yeah, if I may comment. I like to go back to
what Richard shared about family and
the dinner table. I think, as you know, the fabrics of the family
has changed drastically in this century and of
course late 20th century. Now having two-income
families is very common. And they expect, you know, the
media to be the baby sitter and I have some statistics
to share with you. Estimated number of
TV homes, 150 million, average time kids spend watching
TV each day, about 4 hours, children spend more
time watching television than in any other
activity except sleep, 54 percent of the kids
have a TV in their bedroom, 44 percent of the kids say that
they watch something different when they are alone
than with their parents. And this goes on and on and
it was by the University of Kansas the study was done. So we have basically
now relinquished our responsibilities as parents
and they have become– turning that over to
the TV and of course, the shows that we know. And now a few statistics
on that, 65 percent say that the shows like
Simpsons and Married with Children encourage kids
to respect their parents.>>Disrespect you mean?>>Right.>>Yeah. [Laughter]>>77 percent said there is too
much– the 66, children aged 6– 10 to 16 surveyed say that
their peers are influenced by TV shows. So we have really become a kind
of a nation of entertainment and as it was mentioned earlier,
and if we don’t do something about it, and of course
it all starts at home, right, with the parents. But at the same time,
we have tied up– hands of the parents
because most of them working, two parents working
or single parents. And so we have to create some
social safety nets that they can at least take advantage of
being home on a certain time, let’s have that dinner
around the table and be able to have those kind
of conversations. So those are the issues that I
think is to be discussed and I– personally I don’t think there
is an immediate solution to it but at least being aware
of it will give us a chance to discuss it and have a
dialogue and discourse about.>>You know, and
what you’re saying about parents being
absent ’cause part of that may be symptom
as much as cause. When parents are gone, kids
don’t necessarily feel they need to answer to anyone, right? I mean that’s, you’re kind of
like a free agent for many hours of the day and when– I
wonder if when we use to live in small towns, Steven Koblik as
the historian, I’d be curious. My sense is people felt they
had to answer to the community in certain extent, I mean you
did something that was cruel or thought I mean it’s
not just you as an island. Has that changed how we behave a
lack of connection in that way?>>We become more organized. So let’s just start
with the facts, so yes small communities– small communities can be
tough places to live too. But I don’t want to
romanticize depending on which small communities
you’re talking about under what circumstances. But certainly the small
communities had capacity to do things if they wanted to. Most of them probably didn’t but
if you wanted to do something, you could have a
small community. I really do think that
what we’re looking at is a fundamental change in
our society that’s been ongoing, it’s not new, but I do
think the family which has, you know we have a
very unique country in the sense of our diversity. It is– there’s no other
country like it in the world, California, 60 percent of the
current adult population had at least one of their parents
born outside the United States. So we are diverse society, we
also have the kinds of demands that Ezat was talking about
in terms of two working people in the partnership that exists. And obviously that
puts enormous pressure on both how a family works
but then how a society works. And I think we are in for
a very long haul as we try to create new communities. We’re– we don’t
really have a choice. We’re not going back
to the past. We are going to create
new communities and I think you actually
asked me the question about us living each in
our own self constructive–>>Yeah.>>– cocoon. I didn’t forget that. I just wanted to needle
you on the other topic. [Laughter] But the fact of the matter is we
have too many choices. I mean that’s what’s
really happened. We have way too many choices,
no society ever created has had as many choices as contemporary
societies particularly in the western democracy. It’s not–>>In what regard?>>To almost anything
because what’s happened is that the new revolutions in technology have given
us unbelievable choices. Well, just a regard of you sending your students
overseas, that’s a choice. Okay, we couldn’t
do that before. So the fact of the matter is
that we have enormous amount of choices and frankly
choices stokes fear because we’re not really capable
of making all these choices. I heard a presentation 2
weeks ago in Philadelphia about where there’s going
to be a new form of medicine where doctors are no
longer treating us, they’re consulting with us. And frankly that means I’m
going to be my own doctor, I find that terrifying
[laughter] and I don’t want to be my own doctor, I want
someone to tell me what’s wrong with me and tell me
what I should do. And I think that is generating
an extraordinary amount of fear. And given the amount of choice
we have in terms of information, yes we tend to form communities
almost like families did before where we share the
same basic information. Because as we know, when we try
to have dialogue with people who aren’t in our communities, we discover they have very
different meanings for the words and I think that you pointed
out one when you start talking about social justice,
of course we all think of ourselves as just
human beings. So when those terminologies
are used, they’re keywords and obviously the decision
yesterday by the president to actually raise this issue of
marriage to a national level, we are going to have a
lot of conversations now in the selection campaign about
what marriage is and is not.>>Yeah, and what rights
mean and how rate– rights affect different groups. Also, I want to ask you, I mean,
my sense is, and the rest way over simplification, but earlier
in America, speaking of choice, there were pretty clearly
defined roles that people had. And so you had the answer
whether you’re an outsider, misfit, you couldn’t conform
to that role or you did conform to it and you knew you were
on the inside and approved of. Now there really isn’t something
to conform to in that way, so do you think that we as human
beings, there’s a disconnect to sort of how we want that,
certainly want to be told what to do, we at certain level want
everything to be prescribed and we live in this world
where that’s impossible. Is that how you see it? Dr. Koblik?>>I don’t.>>No, you don’t? Jean-Lou Chameau?>>I’d like to–
I again focusing on young people in
the [inaudible]. I had experienced that in
Caltech with really small number of students but they are
also higher in my life. I worked at very large
public universities and I think young people don’t
want to fit at all, they want– they are in fact–
they are very– they want to be their
own person, they want to be challenged,
you know, we talk a lot about problems but you–
again, I want to come back, we are in position and we can
do something about those things. Those young people
want to be challenged, they want to do the kind of
things that you described. They want to work on the– you know, in our case on the
research programs that’s got– that excite them that they
believe it could be [inaudible] for medicine or what. And if we do those things,
and if you by the way, if you keep them busy, they intend to forget a bit
the activities and all that and sing to themselves and–>>Your students have
no time for that.>>And then okay, I think it–
as– I think it’s typical. They’re always talking
about the past doesn’t have, the past is the past. The fact is now we
have young people who are learning
in different ways. They are multiprocessing, they
are doing parallel processing. I’m not always sure that they
actually process everything they are trying to process,
but that’s the way it is. And we need to deal
with it and– so I’m– I don’t agree with you.>>So you don’t think
they have the anxiety that older people do. You think they’re adapting
to the new world very well?>>I think we should get
under the [inaudible] and I’m sure they have anxieties
and they do have anxieties. But they are there–
they are handling. Most of them are handling
them and they want to handle them their way and likely it [inaudible]
be your way or my ways.>>Do you think they’ll
be more civil if in fact they’re better
adapted for this world?>>Okay, no and that’s– I have
agreed so far with 95 percent of what my good friend here
said, with one exception. He said the one when– when
the stick [inaudible] was made about, you know, if I had
the choice between learning and civility, I will
choose learning. I think it is another
choice, I think you know in a university [inaudible],
you expect to have both, and I do expect that
the young people coming out of those institutions are
going to be great learners but at the same time will
have learned the skills which will enable them
to be civil not only in their local environment but wherever they
will be in the future.>>All right, let me torment
each of you at this point by asking each of you just in
a minute, I mean really keep it to a minute, if you were
master of the universe and you could somehow– not just
master of your institutions. If you could change the way we
communicate with each other, what would you do
institutionally modeling other ways to make a more
civil country? I’ll begin with you, Dr. Rocha.>>Thanks Larry. Well, you know, that
firsthand is have them listen to your show more often. [Laughter] You know I had this,
and I have to confess that, you know, in a guilty
pleasure, you know, the buttons on my radio
and I have a car so old that I still have buttons on it. So, you know, I’ve
got KPCC, of course. But then sometimes you’re
kind of like too civil and then I go right over
to Talk Radio [laughter] if you’d want to
hear some arguing. Well, you know, what can I do? First thing that I would do is– I agree with Dr. Mouw
that to make progress on civility requires
a great deal of humility especially those who
are privileged to be leaders. And so we really do have to
lower ourselves and be quiet and listening, you know. And so those are just
kind of personal ethics. The larger thing is that
I do think I’d asked and our faculty are
working on it. I asked our faculty to work on building what we call
learning communities and what is it that they think
our students should know. We’re concerned, for example– I mean, it really is hard if you
go through a college education, you learn something
about art and literature. So those are couple of things.>>All right, very good. Dr. Parnia.>>Yes. I would require
everybody to attend Pacific Oaks
College and Children’s School. [Laughter]>>And your enrollment
is growing, right? So you could take one.>>And, you know, I
will enroll everyone and I will invite Dr. Chameau to
join us in one of our pot lots because we don’t have a
Marriott serving our students. Our students bring their own
food at around 5:30 quarter to 6 and they have a nice meal
and then they go to class. But kidding aside, I think
we’ll start with Washington, DC. I really think that leaders play
very important role in terms of set the agenda for the rest
us in terms of how we behave and as long as this
kind of situation is in Washington developing,
you know, that everyday we see
they’re fighting one another and disrespect that they
extend to one another and it’s just giving a
bad impression, you know, to the rest of us and
especially to the kids because I think really we serve
as role models, as parents, as leaders, and of course, they
always look up to politicians from the president
to congressmen and senators and all that. So in fact I have a
8-year-old daughter and she came to home one day and she
told me about learning about the presidents and she
know about George Washington and she knows about
Lincoln and President Obama. And I’m sure when somebody
insult President Obama, for a 8-year-old that really has
a complete different connotation than anything else. So– And it’s not just President
Obama, I’m talking about any because when you
insult the president, you’re insulting the presidency
and that carries a lot a of weight in this country. So this is not about
individuals and we have to understand that, you know. When you insult the office, you are basically sending a
very wrong message to the rest of us and that’s not right.>>All right, Dr.Koblik.>>You know, I tried
to explain to my staff that they shouldn’t insult
the President but that– [laughter] [inaudible]. But I’d rather answer
this on a personal level and that is I think we’ve
already heard from Rich and from actually
everyone on the panel. You– As an individual
you can model yourself and you can be patient
and you can be calm and you can become
a good listener. I’ve always– I’m a very
political animal all my life and it’s become apparent that
we need to have discourse and so I’ve taken a lot of time
in the last few years to try to structure discourse whether
it’s with someone I’m standing in line to buy something with or
whether I’m in the parking lot and I’ve, you know,
gotten angry so forth. To just structure
discourse and to try to have conversations
particularly with people who are coming from different
places because I think in doing that, we have to
reconstruct our community. You may have heard or
may have been announced, we have new director of the Smithsonian
American History Institute. I’m not sure that they
announced that yet.>>They have. In fact John was on my
show yesterday morning.>>There you go. So John Gray is the new
head and we had talked about this during
this search process. And I say the problem is
we’ve lost an integrated story of the community. We don’t have a history
of the United States. So we’re going to
have to recreate it. I think that’s a good project. And I know a lot of voices
will be involved in it.>>All right, very
good Dr. Koblik. Dr Chameau?>>Since I knew that my
plan would seem profound, I have something
really practical. [Laughter] I would– And
you said there is no limit. I am in charge.>>You are in charge, right.>>I would have every
graduate of every university and the high school, high
schools that they don’t graduate from a university to spend a
year traveling in a country and on other world one year
before they enter the workforce and learn about other
communities and learn to be civil. That’s one thing. The other thing I would
do, it would be to– going back to something that Steve said earlier is we
[inaudible], I would reinstate to the [inaudible] as
being something legal. [Laughter] Because
it would– It does– It did served a very good
purpose when people like– since Steven, you were
critically disagreeing, we will not get along,
you would solve it. You would go outside of,
you know, the [inaudible]. You’ll take of it, so.>>But he’d have
a huge advantage with any historic weapon
so I’d be out of luck. [Laughter]>>Dr. Buchman?>>Well, master the
universe and ensuring that we address this issue. I would say we make sure that we
honor the creative imagination. Let’s make sure that we fight
this very distasteful way of banning art and
creativity from our schools. Art and creativity gives a
way for people to express, to find ways of entering
into dialogue, to developing compassion to
being able to lead themselves in a way that is responsible and honors again the
imagination in human expression. You know, in thinking
about today, for some reason I went back to a
great artistic event in history of Western culture which was
a play written by Aeschylus and was performed– it’s
called the Persians. And what was extraordinary
about that play is that the collective
came together, the whole culture came
together and that play was about the Persian War,
the Greco-Persian War, but it was from the perspective
of the Persian community. It was from the perspective of
those that were destroyed in war by the Greeks to
a Greek audience. That artist, that playwright,
that Aeschylus wrote in a way that allowed for compassion to
surface, for a community to stop for a moment with their own
particular biased point of view and understand that
in every act, there is another human
being on the other side that we can hear
it, that we listen. And that if Freud is right that fundamentally we
are just pleasure seeking and ultimately violent and civilization is what keeps
us going, then art becomes a way for us to develop compassion,
to build it and to understand that we can structure things
in a way that allows us to understand that an other
has a different point of view and give difference a dignity.>>Wow. [ Applause ]>>We have just a little
bit more of the program. But I want to encourage you to
stay afterwards ’cause instead of doing formal questions
and answers, we’re sticking around a little bit afterwards
if you want to talk with any of the panelists, share
some of your ideas or ask them questions, please
feel free to do that afterwards. We conclude Dr. Mouw,
coming back up to respond to what he’s heard in
response to his keynote. Dr. Mouw?>>Thank you. Thank you. [Applause]>>Well, I– I won’t take long. But I want to say this. It’s been a wonderful discussion
and I’ve learned a lot from my presidential
colleagues here today and Mary and I were commenting on the
passionate body language here and I want to say I think this
is very encouraging for the kind of leadership that
we need from people in higher education,
so thank you. Steve, I stand corrected
on a lot of the historical
data that you read. But it was interesting
that he talked about Ronald Reagan
and Tip O’Neill. He was looking– there
have been this one. You know, I’m a Calvinist. I’m not saying things are
getting better or worse, we’ve always been
sinners and all the rest. But there had been
moments in the past. And I think of Lincoln, for
example, and how after the war between the states when he could
have boasted over great victory and instead call
people to forgive, call people to cultivate
a spirit of humility, that’s the kind of
leadership in public life that promotes civility that
I think we sadly miss today. And I think the– you know,
the big question, in what kind of society– it was–
Mark raised this. What kind of society
do we want to promote? What kind of people
that we want to be? And I still think that–
and everyone of your– most of your schools, if you
think Pasadena City College. If that arrogant young man
who listens to Rush Limbaugh and just says “Why
don’t they just go back where they came from?” Could meet the sophomore
at Pasadena City College who was brought over the boarder
at two months old by parents who did not have the
proper credentials. And basically never been
backed and this is her culture and all she wants to do
is to teach in the school, the kind of school that
where she had teachers who encouraged her
along the way. And to be able to look
her in the eye and say, “Why don’t you go back
where you came from?” that’s precisely
lacking what Lorne talked about those wonderful terms,
compassion, empathy, you know, having that “in” feeling,
being able to imagine what it’s like to be her and then what
it’s like to have somebody say to you “Go, back
where you came from.” And, the cruelty of that,
the insensitivity of that so that the immigration
debate really has to– had to be real people
talking to each other. And I think we do have an
obligation as educators to promote that kind of, you
know, that kind of dialog, that kind of– and
so we really need to ask how we’re
going to do that. I think one of the great one
and Lorne really raised this, but one of the great obstacles
these days is the highly specialized nature of academic
research and academic study. And I’m not going to complain about that I think we’ve
learned a lot from that. But for many of us in our
younger years we were inspired by people who had a big
vision, teachers who– And these days with
specialization, we often don’t have
that and I think as presidents we
have an obligation to find ways to do that. It may not be in the classroom. It may be in other
sorts of ways. But we’re talking about
campus communities and not just classrooms. And I think we can
do– we can do a lot. And the humility really
listening, the empathy. I was raised in New Jersey and
as a little kid I was a Brook– an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan. I’ve never actually forgiven
them for moving out here. But– And I was such
a Brooklyn Dodgers fan that when Jackie Robinson came on the scene I wanted
him to succeed. And I can remember as a kid in a basically racist subculture
really ex– really want– really feeling sorry for Jackie
Robinson, really rejoicing when he stole home base in a
World Series game, I mean– and to me that was one
of my first lessons in racism, in countering racism. And it wasn’t just
listening to speeches and it wasn’t reading books, but
it was the experience of trying to put myself in
somebody else’s shoes and it was a wonderful
opportunity to be able to do that in terms of
being a baseball fan. But, we can create opportunities
like that where we– where we really listen
to each other. And, so I want to
say I think this is– this is a wonderful
conversation. I’m encouraged some of
my heroes as presidents, probably Ted Hesburgh and Clark
Kerr and people like that. I think we need to read their
stories and learn more from them and I’m very encouraged
about what I hear. And I’m going to say “Let’s
have a meal together sometime.” Thanks. [ Applause ]>>Before we conclude again
just feel free stay to talk with members of the panel
whoever– who able to stay. And let me say to all
of you that I am– I just am very honored. The things that you said,
speaking from the heart, the passion you feel for
education, for our society, for the culture whether
it’s art, science, history, teaching education, whether
it’s a full scope of curricula that you see at PCC you
clearly love what you do, you love your students
and you really want to see them make a difference. What is better than that? I thank you and we are so
lucky in this community to have you all, your
real local treasures. Thank you so much. [ Applause ] [ Inaudible Discussion ]

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