December 2015 Newsletter
Merry Christmas from all of us at the Robertson School of Government! As the semester ends, we look back with thanksgiving on your support for our students and programs.
The autumn was busy, with campus visits by Governor Jeb Bush and Governor John Kasich. Our own students and alumni were often busy with public service and campaigning. Our faculty have remained busy as well, both in the classroom and outside of it. Faculty attended and/or presented at the conferences of the American Political Science Association, Network of Schools of Public Affairs & Administration, International City and County Managers Association, Evangelical Philosophical Society, and other regional events. Perhaps the most intriguing presentation, however, was by Associate Dean Mary Manjikian at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
We are grateful for all that is done by our friends, like you, to support our programs. Whether it is sending students to the Robertson School of Government, financial support, or simply cheering on this important work, we are appreciative. Thus, I sincerely wish you a blessed holiday season and God’s contentment and joy in the new year ahead.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Robertson School of Government
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
Faculty Story: Terrorism: Does the Christian just war tradition have something specific to say about it?
RSG Dean Eric Patterson addressed this issue as part of a panel in Atlanta, GA at the combined annual meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and the Evangelical Theological Society. The panel also included just war thinker Col. Keith Pavlischek (USMC-ret.), Dr. Myles Wertz (Palm Beach Atlantic University), author Dr. Preston Sprinkle, and was chaired by Dr. Mark Wesley (Liberty University).
Patterson began by reminding the audience of the Black Knight from Monty Python’s The Holy Grail. In the iconic scene, Arthur offers the Black Knight a seat at Camelot, but is attacked. Audiences have long laughed at the “it’s only a flesh wound” claims of the Black Knight, but Patterson suggested that the lawless, aggressive behavior of the Black Knight is more akin to al Qaeda or Islamic State. Hence, what is Arthur, King of the Britons, to do? Could he, as the head of government responsible for the commonwealth, just “turn the other cheek?”
The panel debated the merits of various possible responses to terrorism rooted in the Christian tradition, from a non-violent individualistic response by individuals to the work of statesman with a vocation to public service. The panel discussed historical positions, such as those of (pacifist) Menno Simmons in contrast to mainstream Christian thinking as elucidated by Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas, the Spanish Scholastics, Luther, Calvin, and later individuals such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Paul Ramsey. For more on Patterson’s writing on just war theory, see his books Just War Thinking, Ending Wars Well, and the new co-edited Ashgate Research Companion on Military Ethics.
John Kasich Visits Regent University
Ohio Governor John Kasich made a stop on his campaign trail at Regent University’s Virginia Beach campus on Wednesday, November 18, to participate in the Presidential Candidate Forums series. The event featured opening remarks from Kasich, a live interview with Regent Founder, Chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, and an audience Q&A session moderated by David Brody, chief political correspondent for CBN News.
Kasich was the second presidential candidate to participate in Regent University’s Presidential Candidate Forums, hosted by the university’s popular Executive Leadership Series (ELS), which provides candidates an opportunity to discuss their campaign platforms in a balanced, non-debate format. Regent does not support or oppose any candidate; presidential candidates from both parties have been offered invitations to participate in future Presidential Candidate Forums.
According to Regent’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, the forums are one step toward getting the public and this student body politically engaged to ensure a healthy republic.
“Today, more than ever, our American republic needs citizens to be politically engaged and to act in an enlightened manner,” said Moreno-Riaño. “These are real-time academic learning labs in which our students — America’s future leaders — can hear from political thought-leaders like Governor Kasich. The university looks forward to continuing its tradition of hosting these forums to engage with students and the Hampton Roads community.”
In his opening comments, Kasich discussed his platform, which includes balancing the national budget, rebuilding military defense, and bringing together a coalition for counterterrorism to provide joint intelligence — a pressing political matter to Kasich in light of the ISIS attacks on Paris just five days prior to the event.
“We’re not facing a lone-wolf or a small group of people, but a group that’s intent on destroying our very way of life,” said Kasich.
This “shoulder-to-shoulder” community of nations, to Kasich, would be similar to the one present during the Gulf War to protect the “Western ethic.”
“It means that our lives matter. It means that our lives make a difference. It’s about free speech, equality of women, it’s about hope and it’s about faith,” said Kasich. “It’s about a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren.”
The live-interview portion of the series between Kasich and Robertson focused on a wide-range of issues such as education, cyber security, rehabilitation programs for non-violent felons, caring for the mentally ill, and tax reform.
He claims that his current policy is what drove his second term election in a state with a history of voting Democratic.
“I think that’s for two reasons: jobs, and the fact that people have hope. When your credit and pensions are strong, when you’re looking to help the mentally ill, non-violent felons and the working poor, people say that, ‘maybe this guy cares about me a little bit,'” said Kasich. “I know he’s a politician. But maybe he gets me.”
Following the live-interview, Brody offered questions from the audience regarding U.S.-Israel relations, student debt and immigration.
Kasich, who announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in July, 2015, was first elected as Ohio governor in 2010, and re-elected in 2014. Additionally, he has served nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1989 to 2001. This was Kasich’s second visit to Regent, having joined the 2009 Clash of the Titans® debate, “America’s Future: Can Capitalism Survive?”
Regent University Celebrates 10 Years with Admiral Vern Clark
Clark has served as distinguished professor of Regent’s School of Business & Leadership (SBL) and the Robertson School of Government (RSG) for ten years.
“He has a mind like a steel trap, he’s insightful and he cuts right to the heart of the matter,” said Regent founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “He sits on many important boards, yet he gives his time to us here at Regent. We’re honored that he is a part of this community.”
Clark said that he appreciated Robertson’s confidence he had in him 10 years ago when his time at Regent had only just begun.
“From the beginning this has just been really special,” said Clark. “I believe in the purpose and calling in this place, and the purpose of this institution.”
At Regent, Clark expressed one of his true loves: interacting with people, especially in the lives of young people – his students.
“I get the thrill of seeing the twinkle in their eyes, and I love it when the light goes on,” said Clark.
His love of serving people expands beyond students, and spreads to Regent’s faculty and staff as well, according to executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gerson Moreno- Riaño.
“He’s a man of great patience and great humility, with a commanding presence and voice,” said. Moreno-Riaño. “Thank you for your love of people. We are better today for your 10 years of service.”
Dr. Doris Gomez, dean of Regent’s School of Business & Leadership, spoke of her witness of Clark’s decade-long leadership, explaining that “like water reflects the face, one’s life reflects the heart” (Proverbs 27:19).
“What a privilege it is to stand here before you and thank you for your years of service, not only to our country, but to our university,” said Gomez. “As I reflect on your time, and observe you as a leader, you know that leadership is not just about the qualities of the mind, but also of the heart. Your legacy will always be that of light.”
RSG associate dean, Dr. Mary Manjikian, said she appreciated Clark’s model as a teacher and his spirited and open character traits.
“We’ve loved having his insights over the years,” said Manjikian. “And we hope for many more.”
Regent University Welcomes Delegate Scott Taylor to ELS Series
To former Navy SEAL and Virginia General Assembly Delegate Scott Taylor, life is like a chess game.
“It’s not very linear,” he told attendees of Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series (ELS) luncheon on Tuesday, November 10. “Big things can happen from little decisions.”
In fact, within the first two moves of a game, there can be 200,000 tiny decisions to lead to a victory. Taylor witnessed this phenomenon he calls “clarity in the chaos” as a child, when he made his very first move on the board.
He had been raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland by his single mother, and was working on a nearby farm when a man in a dark suit – a local detective – took him to the police station. There, Taylor was charged with malicious destruction of property, and breaking and entering.
“My mom must’ve been so proud when she learned that her 11-year-old son was on probation,” said Taylor.
Checkmate: a mentor walks in. Taylor was enrolled in the Big Brother Big Sisters program and was introduced to the man who’d change the trajectory of his life, Andrew Jones.
“He taught me to put a napkin in my lap and how to maneuver stock options and everything in between,” said Taylor. “We don’t have to navigate through the chaos of life on our own.”
Jones became an ever-present mentor in Taylor’s life; and was the first person he called when he was injured during a mission as a SEAL sniper in Ramadi, Iraq. Without his encouragement, Taylor said he may not have had the tenacity to get through the training and the infamous “hell week” SEALs undergo.
“It’s a lesson in free will,” said Taylor. “You can quit at any time.”
And many do. Out of the nearly 160 people who began training alongside Taylor, only 25 completed the six-day intensive training. And for good reason, Taylor explained, as he described shivering in ice-cold temperatures, enduring lack of food and performing with little rest.
“That’s why some of the fastest guys and the best swimmers don’t make it,” said Taylor. “You have to have a strong will and a mental toughness. There’s power in removing failure from your list of options. You find a way to make it happen.”
Taylor is careful not to say that failure can be removed entirely. He’ll be the first to admit that he’s failed at nearly everything he’s been successful at; having lost elections and failed physical endurance tests due to injury.
To Taylor, this is a key leadership trait as he continues to serve in a political office: to study the perspective of others and to encourage them and give them clarity through the chaos.
“I think Virginia, America and the world needs a leader to serve with care,” said Taylor.
Following the talk, an Honor and Remember Flag was given by Mark Stets, president of the Honor and Remember Hampton Roads Chapter. Stets presented the flag to the family of Sergeant James Michael Ciccone.
The next ELS will feature former NFL player and coach, Steve Wisniewski on Monday, December 7.
Practitioners-in-Residence visit with Regent University ICMA Student Chapter
The ICMA Regent Student Chapter held two memorable events with RSG Practitioners-in-Residence while they were in town visiting Regent University. First, the ICMA Regent Student Chapter met with RSG Practitioner in Residence Ed Daley, D.P.A., and former ICMA president, to discuss the future challenges of developing community infrastructure given the rising costs of such developments. Students discussed the differences between development strategies in the United States and what public managers have implemented in the international community. Dr. Daley has wide experience having served as city manager in multiple cities and being honored as a member of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Second, Practitioner in Residence Sam Gaston, also a former ICMA president, and his wife, joined the ICMA Regent Student Chapter members for dinner to discuss future career options and expectations in contemporary public administration. Mr. Gaston discussed changing perspectives and expectations from the citizenry and the challenges faced by public servants. Mr. Gaston serves as city manager of Mountain Brook, Alabama.
The ICMA student chapter is looking to build a network with RSG alum and is open to participation from RSG alumni. Please feel free to connect with us atRegentICMA@gmail.com.
Edward Snowden: The Contractor
Dr. Mary Manjikian spoke on the topic of Edward Snowden: The Contractor at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Edward Snowden’s activities are very well known – from the first leak of classified information to his stay in Russia. But his motivations, the system vulnerabilities that enabled him to access highly classified information, and his stated goals are continuing points of heated discussion. Hailed as a hero or decried as a traitor, his actions have reopened the issue of privacy for people and for nations. Dr. Manjikian, Associate Dean of the Robertson School of Government, Regent University, and author of Threat Talk: The Comparative Politics of Internet Addiction, revealed how her research into organizations offers a new way of looking at Snowden and all those leakers/whistleblowers/heroes/traitors who came before.
Executive Leadership Series Luncheon with former NFL Player and Coach, Steve Wisniewski – December 7, 2015
Virginia Symphony Orchestra – Handel’s Messiah – Regent University Communications Building, Dede Robertson Theatre – December 17, 2015
New Student Orientation – January 6, 2016