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DATE: October 31, 2013 12:31:03 PM PDT
Munro Seminar for Civic Education Set for Nov. 5, 6 and 7 at WWU

Contact: Sherry Burkey, WWU Associate Vice President for University Relations & Community Development and Director of Government Relations; (360) 650-3110 or Sherry.Burkey@wwu.edu

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University will offer the Ralph Munro Seminar for Civic Education on Nov. 5, 6 and 7 on Western’s campus. Elected officials, public policy experts, and media representatives will be among the speakers at panels that are free and open to the public.

“The panelists this year will be focusing on some of the most important issues facing our state. Western students and community members are particularly encouraged to join us for these interesting and lively discussions with key decision makers and experts,” said Sara Weir, chair of Western’s Political Science Department and director of the Ralph Munro Institute.

All panels will be in the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room. Community members attending the Munro seminars can obtain a free parking permit at Western’s Parking Office.

Below is the list of topics and panelists Nov. 5 to 7. Paul Dunn, senior executive assistant to WWU President Bruce Shepard, will serve as moderator for the panels.

Tuesday, Nov. 5: “Changing Demographics, New Technology, and the Modern Workforce: How Should Higher Education Respond?”

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Panel with Sen. Michael Baumgartner, vice chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and member of the Senate Higher Education Committee; Marjorie Hatter, Phillips 66 Refinery manager and member of the WWU Foundation Board of Directors; and Paul Francis, executive director of the Council of Presidents.

Tuesday, Nov. 5: “Washington’s Business Climate:  Too Much Tax?  Too Much Regulation?”

10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Panel with Rep. Chris Reykdal, vice chair of the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee and member of the House Finance Committee; Rep. J.T. Wilcox,  minority floor leader, House Appropriations Committee; Paul Guppy, vice president for research, Washington Policy Center; and Andrew Nicholas, senior fiscal analyst, Washington State Budget and Policy Center.

Wednesday, Nov. 6: “Economic Recovery: Competing Priorities for State Dollars”

9 to 10:15 a.m.: Panel with Sen. Rodney Tom, Senate majority leader; Rep. Pat Sullivan, House majority leader; Sen. David Frockt, Senate Democratic floor leader and a member of the Senate Higher Education Committee; Rep. Chad Magendanz, assistant ranking member on the House Education Committee and a member of the House Higher Education Committee.

Wednesday, Nov. 6: “Nurturing Talent & Innovation: What Is the State’s Role in Job Creation?”

10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Panel with Rep. Ross Hunter, chair of the House Appropriations Committee; Bill McSherry, director of State & Local Government Operations, The Boeing Co.; Susannah Malarkey, executive director, Technology Alliance; Egils Milbergs, former executive director of the Washington Economic Development Commission; and Alex Pietsch, director, Governor’s Office of Aerospace.

Thursday, Nov. 7: “Who Built That? Public Infrastructure and the Private Sector”

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Panel with Sen. Doug Ericksen, chair of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee; Rep. Dan Kristiansen, House minority leader; Rep. Jeff Morris, chair of the House Technology and Economic Development Committee; and Rep. Larry Springer, deputy majority leader for Jobs and Economic Development and member of the  House Appropriations Committee.

Thursday, Nov. 7: “Changing Media Landscape: Impact on Political Coverage”

10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Panel with Joel Connelly, columnist with seattlepi.com; Erik Smith, news editor and staff writer, Washington State Wire, and Jerry Cornfield, reporter and columnist with the Everett Herald.

The seminar is scheduled to air on TVW, the state of Washington’s public TV network.

The seminar is sponsored by Western’s Ralph Munro Institute, a program of the WWU Political Science Department that is devoted to promoting civic literacy within secondary education and the public at large. It offers students, teachers and community members an opportunity to work with professors, activists and political leaders to learn how local, state and national politics develop. The institute was named in honor of Ralph Munro, a WWU alumnus and trustee. Munro was elected Washington’s Secretary of State in 1980 and continued in that position until his retirement in 2001.

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