RSG Newsletter


October 2014
Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Robertson School of Government

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

Two of the most common questions that I am asked about RSG is "Who is it named after?" and "How do you get people like Justice Scalia and Governor Huckabee to your campus?"

RSG is named for Senator A. Willis Robertson, who served his country as an Army officer during World War I and then spent four decades in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. At our annual Senator Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics, which featured former Virginia Chief Deputy Attorney General Patricia West, we launched a new research resource for those interested in learning more about Senator Robertson.

Second, the university is very intent on exposing students and our neighbors in Hampton Roads to national leaders like Supreme Court Justice Scalia and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Justice Scalia spoke to a group of approximately 150 students before doing a public event for over 700 individuals from across our region. Governor Huckabee spoke for Regent's Executive Leadership Series and inspired the audience with a message about returning to traditional American values in public life.

In this edition of the RSG newsletter we also report on former Attorney General John Ashcroft's meeting with local high school students, recent faculty publications and meet alumnus Sosthene Maletoungou – who is making a difference in Africa.

Warm regards,

Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean, Robertson School of Government


Watch the "Get to Know RSG" video.

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For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.


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Faculty Story: John Ashcroft - Distinguished Professor of Law and Government

For the past nine years, John Ashcroft has served as a distinguished professor at Regent University. He comes with extraordinary experience and purpose. President George W. Bush called him "a man of great integrity, a man of great judgment and a man who knows the law," when nominating Ashcroft to serve as U.S. Attorney General on December 22, 2000. When Ashcroft left office four years later, violent crime was at a record low, gun crime was at an all-time low, a successful corporate crime crackdown had been launched, and more terrorist attacks on the U.S. had been prevented.

One of the most high-profile and experienced Attorneys General in the nation's history, Ashcroft led the U.S. law enforcement community through the challenging and transformational period following the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001. His tenure was highlighted by forceful public advocacy of President Bush's strong anti-terrorism strategy. His quiet government influence was rated highest inside the Bush Administration by The National Journal.

Raised in Springfield, Missouri, Ashcroft attended public schools until enrolling at Yale University, where he graduated with honors in 1964. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago in 1967. Prior to entering public service, Ashcroft taught business law at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. He authored a book honoring his father, Lessons from a Father to His Son, and co-authored multiple editions of two college law textbooks with his wife, Janet. His career of public service began in 1973 as Missouri Auditor. He was later elected to two terms as the state's attorney general. His colleagues in the non-partisan National Association of Attorney's General elected him as their president.

Mr. Ashcroft served as governor of Missouri from 1985 through 1993 where he balanced eight consecutive budgets. Fortune magazine rated him one of the top 10 education governors, while Financial World and City & State magazines credited him with making Missouri one of the best financially managed states. In 1991, the non-partisan National Governor's Association voted him chairman.

Mr. Ashcroft was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994, and worked to reduce crime and safeguard the rights of crime victims. He co-sponsored a bill which designated 911 as the universal emergency number and was a leader in passing legislation directly responsible for allowing U.S. companies to utilize more aggressive encryption technology. During his entire career as senator, Mr. Ashcroft served on the Commerce Committee where he advocated for updated U.S. banking laws, the protection of consumer privacy, and increased personal responsibility on the part of consumers.

As U.S. Attorney General, Ashcroft reorganized the Department of Justice (DOJ) to focus on its number one priority: to prevent another terrorist attack. Leveraging every legal tool available to law enforcement, including the critical tools provided in The Patriot Act, the DOJ initiated a tough antiterrorism campaign that has assisted in disrupting over 150 terrorist plots worldwide, dismantling terrorist cells in cities across America, and convicting 191 individuals in terrorism-related investigations to date.

Student Story: Visiting Regent

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft met with local high school students to discuss key constitutional issues. Ashcroft, who serves as Distinguished Professor of Law and Government at Regent University, discussed some of the challenges he faced as Attorney General as well as earlier in his career as an elected official. He noted that leaders should set their compass based on what is right, rather than on what is popular or what is being pressed by the media. "I am more concerned with how God views my actions than on what public opinion is saying at the moment," he noted.

The students were members of the Legal Studies Academy at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach. This is an elite group of students who aspire to careers in public service and law. The faculty advisor, John Sutton III said, "This is history alive! It's one thing to read about some of the more important constitutional issues of our day, it's quite another thing to speak to someone who was on the front lines, wading through those issues, trying not only to keep our country safe, but more importantly to do the right thing. What an amazing feather in our cap."

The event was a closed-door session with General Ashcroft in which each student had an opportunity to ask a question about a constitutional or professional issue. RSG Dean Eric Patterson observed, "These are superior students—precisely the type of individuals we'd like to see on our campus some day. They were well prepared and some had read General Ashcroft's book. They represented their school well."

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Alumni Story: Sosthene Maletoungou '13 – Changing Africa One School at a Time

Sosthene Maletoungou '13

Sosthene Maletoungou '13

When Sosthene Maletoungou ('13) first heard about Regent University, he was staffing a discipleship training school in Africa with Youth with a Mission (YWAM). A Regent alumnus happened to be part of the school and, learning about Sosthene' s heart for the development of Africa and interest in political science, he began sharing about his experiences at Regent. Six years later, Sosthene enrolled in the Robertson School of Government and spent the next two years diligently working toward a double concentration in international politics and public administration. "In retrospect, Regent contributed to fine-tuning my academic knowledge and sharpening my analytical skills in questions pertaining to human nature, political society, social ethics, and past and contemporary issues from God's perspective. Above all, Regent challenged me not only to go make a godly difference in the world but also to do it as a servant in righteousness and integrity. I long every day to live that out through what I do, and I humbly realize that it is paying off!"

Working for a U.S.-based nonprofit, Sosthene is currently stationed in West Africa where he serves as an education consultant to a network of over 100 Christian schools. His position affords him the opportunity to empower teachers and school administrators through training seminars, mentoring, coaching and strategic networking. When asked about the work he is doing, Sosthene responds, "We have been using 'Educational Care,' which emphasizes a godly worldview foundation, because the way a teacher views and defines the world will determine his philosophy of education, what he teaches and how he teaches it. Before and after every training period, we visit different schools to learn about their stories, encourage the participants, answer their questions and provide necessary insights regarding their experience in the implementation of their comprehensive action plans, which they wrote during the training."

Asked to project five years into the future, Sosthene envisions having a local team trained as trainers who will take ownership of the vision and train others. Additionally he sees a strong association that will be a platform for unity and partnership among the schools within the network he serves. When that happens, his goal will be to focus more on coaching and mentoring the emerging leaders to further advance the vision. In ten years, he hopes to have a better Christian school system in West Africa that will be known and respected for the quality of its teaching and the impact of those in need and alumni on society. "My prayer is that the association of those schools will be financially strong to a point that it will have in place a grassroots investment fund to provide micro credit for school development as well as a safety net for its participants. However, as of now the scope of our work is limited to primary and secondary schools. But I will not be surprised if sooner or later local stakeholders start a private Christian university or call for an extension of our influence to the higher education sphere."

Sosthene' s advice to recent graduates is a call to change—"You are unique and what God has deposited in you to pass on to the world is unique, so get out there and do it! Change is a process that may take a lifetime but it begins with making a difference in the here and now, one step and one case at a time. Don't be afraid of failure, you will learn and grow as you go."


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Recent Events

Mike Huckabee Opens Executive Leadership Series

Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, encouraged more than 550 members of the Hampton Roads business community to become involved in the political process during his remarks at the season-opening luncheon for Regent University's Executive Leadership Series (ELS) on Friday, Sept. 19.

"What a delight to be back on this picturesque and beautiful campus, known for its extraordinary commitment to academic excellence," said Huckabee, who explained that he looked on the institution with "awe."

Huckabee encouraged his audience not to take entities such as Regent and the Robertson School of Government for granted, and he also asked them to do the same for the United States government.

"People always tell me that politics is a 'dirty business' and that they don't want to get involved," said Huckabee. "But I tell them that if they have children, they're already involved."

As a four-time New York Times best-selling author, host of his own television show Huckabee and radio program, The Huckabee Report (nationally syndicated on 600 stations), he is no stranger to the difficulties that arise in the political arena.

While Huckabee acknowledged that not everyone is cut out for a career in politics, he pointed out tangible, positive ways to "restore America" without running for office.

"We can change this country, but as long as people say, 'I don't want to get involved,' we probably can't," said Huckabee.

Lack of political involvement—particularly where voting is concerned—has led to many of the economic challenges the nation currently faces. Huckabee asked that citizens pray for the country and its leaders every day, remember the power of the vote, and educate others to "vote biblically."

Huckabee said that being involved in politics this way will drive its citizens to look through the "windshield" of the nation's future, rather than into the "rear-view mirror" to the success of the nation's past.

Huckabee claimed that the success of the United States was born out of more than the muskets of the Revolutionary War. It cannot be explained apart from the values on which the nation was founded, and God's providence. And, if its citizens keep this thought at the forefront, a better future is ahead.

"I'm not a person who thinks this nation is doomed," said Huckabee. "I believe that America can be strong again—and that the nation will not only survive, but thrive."

ELS provides local business men and women with the chance to hear from the nation's most inspirational leaders each month.

Executive Leadership Series.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia Visits Regent University

U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Antonin Scalia

For RSG students, interacting with members of the judiciary is a coveted opportunity to learn from some of the most highly regarded legal minds. And, when those jurists include a U.S. Supreme Court justice and a U.S. District Court judge, the time becomes even more valuable.

That was the case for RSG students, along with faculty, alumni, public officials and judges who gathered earlier in September to hear from the Honorable Antonin Scalia, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Honorable Henry E. Hudson, U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Virginia.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Antonin Scalia

The distinguished jurists' visit to the Regent campus included classroom time with Government and Law students and a banquet that drew about 700 guests, including nearly 50 judges from the region.

During his evening remarks, Scalia focused on legal education reform and advocated for a comprehensive education that ensures students receive a thorough overview of legal concepts.

RSG Dean Eric Patterson remarked, "Justice Scalia is one of the most influential American legal minds of the past century. His candid comments about the state of American jurisprudence were enlightening and entertaining."

Jay Sekulow - Chief Counsel of
the American Center for Law
and Justice (ACLJ)

Tiffany Barrans '09 (Law), international director at the American Center for Law & Justice, described how Regent Law helped her prepare for a successful career.

"My professors poured into me intellectually and spiritually, and other students encouraged me," Barrans said. "As a student, I had an abundance of opportunities that few lawyers get to see during their entire career."


RSG Hosts Second Senator A. Willis Robertson Lecture

Judge Patricia West

On Tuesday, Sept. 23, Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG) hosted the second Senator A. Willis Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics presented by Judge Patricia West, distinguished professor of Law and Government and associate dean of the School of Law.

Students, faculty and staff gathered in the Moot Court Room to pay tribute to RSG's namesake: the man who spent his lifetime serving his country in many different roles and father to Regent's founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson.

"My father was a man of impeccable personal integrity, and he had a work ethic that was extraordinary," said Robertson. "I want the students at the Robertson School of Government to be endued with that sense of personal integrity, hard work and service to their respective communities."

It's this "amplified" hard work and dedicated service to community that West explained is the duty of all citizens, especially during the upcoming general elections.

"I was always taught, when speaking, one should avoid politics and religion," said West. "But what on earth should one talk about? You can only talk about the weather for so long—religion and politics, those are things that matter."

West reflected on how federal and statewide elections change and transform America, and how imperative the individual vote is when it comes to matters of economy and overseeing Constitutional rights.

She recalled former Virginia Governor George Allen's words, "the world is controlled by the people who show up," from her time spent in his cabinet as secretary of public safety.

"Each time we see a policy heading in the wrong direction, we need to remember that there is an elected official who set it in motion," said West. "Someone thought it was a good idea."

Among her many roles as a public servant within the Commonwealth, West has held the title of judge in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court, as well as the chief deputy attorney general of Virginia. But, she explained one of her greatest responsibilities is molding young men and women at Regent to get "good people on the ballot."

"If you're a student at this school, you hold the future and hope for America; you have a responsibility to fight for the sake of the country," said West. "You have to live like you're running for office—and I hope many of you will one day."

Following the lecture, Dr. Eric Patterson, dean of RSG, unveiled a knowledge resources webpage available for students seeking more information about Senator A. Willis Robertson.

Learn more about the Robertson School of Government and view the Senator A. Willis Robertson archives.

Technology and the Future of the U.S. Constitution

0 In recognition of Constitution Day, September 17, Regent University hosted a panel on "Technology and the Future of the U.S. Constitution."

The event discussed a question that's been gaining momentum over the years: how do Americans guarantee natural liberties, constitutional rights and security in light of increasing dependence on government intelligence and technologies?

The question was addressed by a panel of faculty experts and moderated by Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Dr. Josh McMullen, associate CAS professor; Dr. Dale Coulter, assistant professor in the School of Divinity; Dr. Mary Manjikian, associate professor in the Robertson School of Government; and Professor Robert W. "Skip" Ash, the senior litigation counsel for National Security Law at the American Center for Law & Justice comprised the panel.

Addressing the issue of technology and constitutional rights, Manjikian challenged the mindset that views technology as inherently unconstitutional or threatening.

"If we think about the constitutionality of new technologies, we really need to think about why we are attributing a particular ideological position to a technology," said Manjikian. She explained that America's use of weaponry, the first technology regulated by the Constitution in the Second Amendment, is still controversial today because people base their arguments on what they think weapons are for.

"I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with technologies like surveillance," she said. "There is nothing inherently wrong with regulating technologies either, but we need to be careful about how we construct these arguments regarding constitutionality or unconstitutionality of emerging technologies."

McMullen began his discussion by drawing attention to public desire for government intervention in response to terrorist attacks throughout U.S. history.

Highlighting the War of 1812, Pearl Harbor, and Sept. 11, he explained that Americans seek government intervention in response to attacks on American soil.

"After a period, we see that Americans tend to then reevaluate those initial decisions and begin to question, or maybe even fear, the role of the American government in their lives," said McMullen.

While Americans don't know where we they are in the cycle of attack, reaction, and reevaluation since 9/11, it's much harder to divest than it is to invest the government in power, according to McMullen.

Coulter addressed the balance between democracy, freedom, community and the individual. Offering a theological framework, he explained that radical individualism resides behind certain interpretations of the Constitution and brings us back to the doctrine of original sin, which he defined as "inordinate self-love."

Coulter explained that the challenge of technological innovations is that it can be interpreted as increasing the liberation of the individual from all forms of community life.

"There's irony in American history that we seek to liberate the individual and this quest to liberate actually makes us more dependent upon the state to secure that liberty," said Coulter.

Ash ended the panel discussion by asking, "Are we at war or not?" With the War on Terror being a debate, there are questions that remain unanswered.

"It makes a difference because there are different laws that apply in peacetime compared to laws in wartime," said Ash.

He explained that when war is declared there are implications on individual rights and determining whether or not a combatant is lawful.

"You'll notice that when war is underway there is a balancing act that goes on between individual rights and the rights or obligations of security," said Ash.


RSG BOOK CORNER

"Military Chaplains in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Beyond"

Dean Eric Patterson's Military Chaplains in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Beyond: Advisement and Leader Engagement in Highly Religious Environments was just released by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. The first of a series of book events will occur at the Armed Forces Chaplains Center on October 27.

The book describes how the role of military chaplains has changed over the past decade as Western militaries have deployed to highly religious environments such as East Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. military chaplains, who are by definition non-combatants, have been called upon by their war-fighting commanders to take on new roles beyond providing religious services to the troops. Chaplains are now also required to engage the local citizenry and provide their commanders with assessments of the religious and cultural landscape outside the base and reach out to local civilian clerics in hostile territory in pursuit of peace and understanding.

In this edited volume, practitioners and scholars chronicle the changes that have happened in the field in the 21st century in specific cases: the Balkans, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, and elsewhere. The volume takes a critical look at the rapidly changing role of the military chaplain, and raises issues critical to U.S. foreign and national security policy and diplomacy.

Order your copy.


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Dr. Mary Manjikian Appointed to Represent International Studies Association

Mar Manjikian, Ph.D. Dr. Mary Manjikian, associate dean of the Robertson School of Government, was recently appointed to represent the International Studies Association (ISA)—a leading professional organization for academics working in the area of international affairs—at meetings and conferences of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The AAAS is a nonprofit organization which works to advance international cooperation in science, to increase public engagement with science, and to promote the responsible use of science in public policy. In the past, the AAAS has engaged with issues such as the regulation and future of genetically modified foods, the problem of nuclear proliferation, and the classification of biological weapons and research into their development.


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Upcoming Events

Clash of the Titans® Debate
October 24, 2014

Executive Leadership Series: Robert O'Neill, Naval Special Warfare Development Group
November 10, 2014


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