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Wednesday, August 24 2016

The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has released its programming schedule for the fall 2016 semester, including the nationally acclaimed Post-Election Conference and a joint visit from former U.S. senators Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum.

“With the presidential election on, we wanted several programs that would relate to it without getting us mired down in the bitter polarization our country faces,” said Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy. “We are happy to have a variety of campaign programs consistent with our mission and a great diversity of programs as well.”

Guests should note that beginning this fall, evening programs at the Dole Institute will now begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

In addition to Dole and Kassebaum’s appearance, September’s schedule will include a talk on media coverage of politics with former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, the current president of the National Association of Broadcasters. Rounding out the month is a program on animal welfare in the U.S., featuring Wayne Pacelle (president, Humane Society of the United States) and Nancy Perry (senior vice president of government relations, ASPCA).

On Exhibit: “From State to Nation: Dole for Vice President, 1976.”
August 14, 2016 - January 13, 2017

Forty years ago, the nation’s political spotlight was on the 1976 presidential race, with vice-presidential
candidate Sen. Bob Dole and his wife, Federal Trade Commissioner Elizabeth Dole taking center stage. 

October’s programming will be diverse, ranging from a look at the greatest televised moments in presidential debates to a film screening and Q&A on “American Umpire,” a documentary examining the role of the U.S. as the world’s policeman. The institute will also welcome Andrew Maraniss to discuss his biography of Perry Wallace, the first African-American basketball player in the SEC.

Dole Fellow Steve Kraske — KCUR reporter, Kansas City Star contributor and University of Missouri-Kansas City professor — will lead the fall Discussion Group, a deep dive into the 2016 presidential election. The institute is also excited to sponsor an appearance by The Capitol Steps at the Lied Center in early October and host afternoon programs to include the 2016 Fort Leavenworth series and a conversation with KU graduate Nick Sambaluk.

All events are free, open to the public and located at the Dole Institute unless otherwise noted. More details on the full slate of spring programming can be found below.

The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located on KU’s west campus and also houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacy of U.S. Senator Bob Dole.

More information on all programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute’s website,

“Bees and Spiders: ISIS in Perspective”
(Fort Leavenworth Series)
Sept. 1 – 3 p.m.
Actions in the Middle East since the early 1990s are best understood with cultural and historical context. Lt. Col. Brian Steed lays out the past, present and future of conflict in the Middle East and globally with perspective gained from experience, research and writings.

“Toss Out the Playbook: Trump, Clinton and the Wacky Politics of 2016”
(Discussion Group Series)
Sept. 13, 27, Oct. 4, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 15 – 4 p.m.
The 2016 presidential election has defied expectations and explanations at every turn. Dole Fellow Steve Kraske and his special guest speakers will lay out a guidebook on the art of presidential campaigns, the 2016 cycle and interpreting results on election night.

“Constitution Day: Voting Rights”
Sept. 12, 13 or 14 (To Be Determined) – 7 p.m.
Stephen McAllister, KU professor of constitutional law, will moderate a discussion on voting rights in a crucial election year at the annual Constitution Day program.

“Giants of the Senate: Dole and Kassebaum”
Sept. 17 – 4 p.m.
Longtime Senate colleagues and friends Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum take the stage at the Dole Institute to discuss Congress when they served, the state of Congress today and contemporary politics.

“Animal Welfare in America”
Sept. 21 – 7 p.m.
From household pets to the largest of livestock, improving the welfare of animals in the U.S. is everyday work for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the ASPCA. Wayne Pacelle (president, HSUS) and Nancy Perry (senior vice president of government relations, ASPCA) will discuss their work in animal welfare and Dole’s impressive record on animal rights.

“Journalism and Politics Lecture: Former Sen. Gordon Smith”
Sept. 29 – 7 p.m.
Few topics in an election year are discussed, debated and criticized more than media coverage. In the annual Journalism and Politics Lecture, Gordon Smith will look at the evolving role of the media in covering politics.

“10 Greatest Moments in Televised Presidential Debate History”
Oct. 3 – 7 p.m.
On the heels of the first presidential debate, professors Mary Banwart, KU, and Mitchell McKinney, University of Missouri, team up and count down the most influential television moments in U.S. presidential debate history.

“The Anglo-Irish War”
(Fort Leavenworth Series)
Oct. 6 – 3 p.m.
William Kautt examines the methods used by the British military and the Royal Irish Constabulary to curb the threat of attacks on transportation during the Irish revolution in the early 20th century. The two groups utilized options ranging from tactics and techniques to hardware and equipment as they attempted to move through the insurgent-infested hinterlands as well as urban Irish streets.

“The Capitol Steps”
(Lied Center)
Oct. 8 – 7:30 p.m.
The Capitol Steps — a Washington, D.C.-based comedy troupe that began as a group of Senate staffers — has been providing a unique blend of musical and political comedy for more than 30 years. At the Lied Center, the group will present a show based on the current presidential campaigns as well as songs from their most recent album, “What to Expect When You’re Electing.” Their tasteful lampooning is guaranteed to leave both sides of the political spectrum laughing. The constantly changing show is strenuously bipartisan and includes songs about everything in the news, such as “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Crimea,” “Ain’t No Pipeline, Now It’s Gone” and “The iMpossible iWatch.”

This event is held at the Lied Center and sponsored by the Dole Institute. Tickets available at

Director’s Series: Nick Sambaluk
Oct. 13 – 3 p.m.
KU graduate and Purdue University professor Nick Sambaluk returns to Lawrence to discuss his new book, “The Other Space Race: Eisenhower and the Quest for Aerospace Security.” A longtime attendee of many Dole Institute programs, Sambaluk will discuss the early U.S. space program and its influence on — and from — the Cold War.

This program will include a book sale and signing.

“American Umpire”: Film Screening and Q&A
Oct. 17 – 7 p.m.
Producer and writer Elizabeth Cobbs will join the institute for a Q&A and screening of her documentary, “American Umpire.” With unique archival footage from interviews with top U.S. diplomats, generals and scholars, the documentary examines why the U.S. became the world’s policeman while interpreting the critical debates about American foreign policy in 2016.

“Strong Inside: The Perry Wallace Story”
Oct. 26 – 7 p.m.
The story of Perry Wallace outlines the collision of race and sports in the South during the Civil Rights movement. Andrew Maraniss arrives to discuss his New York Times best-selling biography of Wallace and the unimaginable journey of the young man who courageously accepted an assignment to desegregate the SEC.

This program will include a book sale and signing.

“Niagara, 1814”
(Fort Leavenworth Series)
Nov. 3 – 3 p.m.
As the War of 1812 stretched into its second year, President James Madison launched his best troops once more into Canada in a final attempt to win the war he started. American, British and native warriors battled for four bloody, desperate months along the Niagara River — examined here by Rich Barbuto.

2016 Post-Election Conference
Dec. 8-9 – Times TBA

The Dole Institute’s nationally recognized post-election panel returns for one of the wildest presidential elections in recent history. National journalists, strategists and campaign veterans from both sides will analyze election results and happenings in a multi-session conference. Come to one session or all – just don’t miss this chance to hear from the experts.

Content for this post provided by the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas  [Website]

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