Menard Center to host virtual discussion on Presidents Day


Miami University’s Menard Family Center for Democracy will host a discussion on the evolution of the American presidency on Presidents Day, at 7 p.m.  Monday, Feb. 21. 

The event, titled “The American Presidency: Past, Present and Future,” will be on Zoom and is open to the community. To attend, register here

John Forren, executive director of the Menard Center, will be moderating the discussion.

“We are really trying to increase political and civic engagement not just on campus, but we see it as our mission to increase political and civic engagement in our community. The university is part of a broader community,” said Forren. “Almost everything we do is open to the community, whether they have an affiliation with Miami or not.” 

Four professors will join Forren to discuss the constitutional role of the president and how individuals throughout time have shaped this role, as well as what the future may hold for the office. 

  • Ryan Barilleaux is a professor in Miami’s Department of Political Science. He is an expert on executive and administrative power in the American political system.  
  • Christopher Kelley is an assistant teaching professor in Miami’s Department of Political Science. His work focuses on the expansion of presidential power and how the president’s relationship with Congress has changed over time. 
  • Susan Spellman is an associate professor in Miami’s Department of History. She will provide a historical perspective on how campaigning for the presidency has changed, and how it has shaped what Americans expect from presidents. 
  • Jewerl Maxwell is the provost at Taylor University and a Miami alum. His work focuses on the expansion of presidential power.

This talk is the second in a semester-long series titled “Dialogues on Democracy.” For a full list of events, visit the Menard Center’s website. Some events will have an in-person option, but all will be live streamed via Zoom as well.

The Menard Center has partnered with the Miami Alumni Association and Miami’s regional campuses to increase participation. 

“We’re hoping that as citizens and participants in a democratic society, people are just interested in these issues,” Forren said. “Every week of this series ultimately focuses on some issue or concern that is facing us as a democracy in a polarized world. We’re trying to bring people together and let them hear a diversity of views.”

The Menard Center is a financial supporter of the Oxford Observer.