News & Commentary - Archive 2012

August 27, 2012

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., diplomat, businessman and twice-elected Republican governor of Utah, will deliver a two-part talk at Duke University this fall.

Huntsman's first Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture, “America 2012: Challenges and Opportunities,” will focus on foreign affairs. The talk takes place Monday, Sept. 10, at 5:30 p.m. in Page Auditorium on Duke's West Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

August 23, 2012

This Sunday, Aug. 26, Women’s Equality Day, marks the date in 1920 when women in the United States won the right to vote after nearly a century of political organizing.

It also commemorates the 1970 March for Women’s Rights, when feminists emphatically declared it necessary to continue working toward women’s full equality in the workplace, the home, and American culture as a whole.

In 2012, is Women’s Equality Day still relevant? In the 21st century, who needs feminism?

August 15, 2012

“We need to be screwed!”

Not altogether surprising words to spill out of a college student’s mouth. But this particular student was not talking about sex. She was discussing the U.S. health-care system – more specifically what she thought it would take for our two political parties to come together to find a reasonable way to control our nation’s health-care costs.

August 8, 2012

America has a math problem. We've had a math problem for at least fifty years - since the Soviets launched Sputnik, if not before. Our high school students have trouble competing with those raised in considerably poorer nations, and we aren't producing enough talented scientists and engineers to ensure our nation a leadership position in the twenty-first century knowledge economy.

July 26, 2012

While the policy specifics -- and lack thereof -- in Mitt Romney's VFW speech have gotten most of the attention, it's the underlying thematics aimed at the broader electorate that were the main political play.

July 24, 2012

Noah Pickus has been reappointed to a second five-year term as the Nannerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics (KIE) at Duke, Provost Peter Lange announced Tuesday.

The Kenan Institute for Ethics is a university-wide initiative committed to understanding and addressing ethical challenges facing individuals, organizations and societies worldwide. Its mission is to promote moral reflection and commitment, conduct interdisciplinary research, and shape policy and practice.

July 20, 2012

Last summer, I was honored to be invited to an Iftar dinner -- the meal to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- hosted by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. The guests consisted of many high ranking government officials, including a large number of Muslim government employees.

These Muslim officials seemed similar to other government employees I have met - highly professional, smart, personable, distracted by the constant buzz of their smart phones, and, for the most part, dead tired. 

July 17, 2012

William Raspberry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post who taught for 13 years at Duke, died on Tuesday. He was 76.

As the Knight Professor of the practice of public policy and journalism at Duke from 1995 to 2008, Raspberry commuted weekly from Washington, D.C., to the Duke campus to teach on subjects that included social policy and politics as well as journalism.

July 2, 2012

Last week, a panel of university presidents dealt with one of college sports’ festering problems by approving a four-team playoff for football. For years, critics have been calling for this kind of playoff, which is so popular in pro sports and the NCAA’s own March Madness.

To someone who has spent the past five years researching the business and ethics of big-time college sports, this change may be welcome, but it leaves five unresolved problems with college athletics.

July 2, 2012

If you thought donuts were bad for your health, consider donut holes. Specifically, the donut hole sitting smack in the middle of Medicare Part D, the program helping senior citizens pay for their medications.

The donut hole is a gap in coverage causing people, once they’ve received a certain level of financial support for their prescriptions, to have to go it alone for a while, bearing all their medication costs until they’ve spent so much money that a higher level of financial support kicks in.