RSG Newsletter – November / December 2018
Robertson School of Government Dean’s Corner
I am so humbled to serve as the Dean of the Amazing folks in the Robertson School of Government (RSG) at Regent University. Not only has the university hosted a visit by the Vice President, but RSG faculty have been in demand at home and abroad for speaking, writing, and of course teaching. Alumni have been successful too.
This newsletter will highlight a couple of folks of whom we are proud who have won seats through the electoral process. Alumnus Sabrina Wooten has taken a seat on the Virginia Beach, VA, City Council. She was the winner not just overall, but in every one of the 100 precincts in Virginia Beach.
Interestingly, she takes the seat formerly held by the New Mayor of Virginia Beach, Bob Dyer, who was a former “principal lecturer” for the Robertson School of Government for more than a decade. Dyer had been on the City Council since 2004 and now moves into the top spot in the city.
We are proud of other students who excelled in competition as you will read. Special thanks to Admiral Larry Baucom who coached our World Quest competition team to a third place finish. Other students are now preparing for a NASPAA sponsored competition in Washington DC coming up next semester.
Campus events have included our “Defense against the Dark Arts” series where Admiral William McCarthy spoke about proper methods for government employees to express their dissent to government policies and procedures. He discussed when a situation might rise to the level that dissent is appropriate and when it might be an overreaction in a culture that often praises dissent. He shared from personal experience and with several examples that the audience was familiar with.
Also, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was the keynote speaker at the A. Willis Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics. He spoke about the need for civility and healing the division in America. But he also spoke about the need to return to a system of Federalism where each level of government performs the functions for which it was designed. He expressed the need for a return to the principles of the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution, those that limit the ability of the Federal Government to co-opt rights reserved for the people or powers reserved for the states.
May you have time to peruse our news in this newsletter, but also to take a breather as we enter the Christmas season and celebrate the New Year. May you find peace in the remembrance of the birth of the Christ child, the Prince of Peace.
Interim Dean and Professor
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
Vice President Pence campaigns for Rep. Taylor during Rally at Regent University
Vice President Mike Pence completed a whirlwind Wednesday of campaigning for Republican candidates in Pennsylvania and Virginia with an early evening stop at Regent University, where he exhorted several hundred 2nd District voters to send U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor back to Congress on Election Day, Nov. 6.
Pence, though, began his remarks with a condemnation of this week’s attempted pipe-bomb attacks on several prominent Democrats, including former-President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as on CNN’s New York headquarters and liberal billionaire George Soros. The Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies intercepted all the bombs before they could go off.
“We condemn these attempted attacks and acts of violence in the strongest terms,” Pence said Wednesday at Regent. “We will get to the bottom of this, and those responsible will be brought to justice.” He added, “threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”
Pence issued similar comments as he campaigned earlier in the day in Pennsylvania for incumbent Republican U.S. Reps. Lloyd Smucker and Scott Perry and GOP challenger John Chrin.
Secret Service and local law enforcement were in force on the Regent campus and in the university’s Communication & Performing Arts Center, where Pence spoke. A huge American flag filled the entire backdrop of the stage.
Pence and Taylor arrived at the invitation of Regent University’s College Student Leadership Board, which hosted the event.
Observing that mid-term elections are often challenging for presidents hoping to maintain their political party’s dominance in Congress, Pence drew loud cheers when he added, “but we all know what President Trump thinks of conventional wisdom! We made history in 2016, and we’ll make history again.”
Taylor, a former Navy SEAL serving his first term in the House of Representatives, is in what some political analysts see as tight race with Democratic challenger Elaine Luria, a businesswoman and a retired Navy officer.
But Pence called on the overflow crowd at Regent to help get out the vote by personally urging friends and family to show up on Election Day, adding that “I always have believed that the most powerful media is word of mouth.” And an enthused Taylor exclaimed, “We don’t want to just win. We want to crush it!”
Pence devoted many of his remarks to the accomplishments of the Trump administration and Republican-majority Congress. His list included tax cuts, increases in the military budget, improvements to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a new U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, rollback of many business regulations, a lower unemployment rate and appointment of conservative judges, including new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“It’s been two years of action, two years of results, two years of promises made and promises kept,” the vice president said. He lauded Taylor’s help in advancing the Trump agenda and warned that the election of a Democratic majority in the House or Senate could endanger those achievements.
Pence also praised Taylor’s military record as a Navy SEAL and noted that Taylor was seriously injured while on a combat mission in Iraq. “But Scott Taylor never quit,” Pence said. The audience, which included many military veterans, gave Pence and Taylor several standing ovations, especially when mention was made of Trump’s and Taylor’s support for military and veteran-related issues.
Taylor, who came to his rally casually dressed in an open-neck shirt, without a suit jacket, found himself on the receiving end of a quip from Pence about not wearing a tie. Taylor also took a selfie with Pence, with both men turning their backs to the auditorium so the audience would be in the background of the photo.
Former-Rep. Scott Rigell, who served from 2011 to 2017 from the 2nd District, also spoke on behalf of Taylor’s re-election bid, telling the voters “we’ve got to do it because it matters.”
Said Pence: “Virginia and America need Scott Taylor back in Congress.”
Regent does not support or oppose any candidate, and candidates from both parties have been extended invitations to participate in future rallies.
A High Calling
Regent University Robertson School of Government (RSG ‘14) alumna Sabrina Wooten served as a police chaplain, a CFO and a pastor. Now, after a sweeping victory in a local election, she’ll serve a city of more than 440,000 people as a Virginia Beach City Council Member.
On a cold Wednesday night earlier this week, more than 50 people gathered at Regent University to watch Wooten be sworn in her new role by fellow Regent alumna and Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge Tanya Bullock (LAW ‘00).
For the first time ever, two African-Americans — Wooten and at-large candidate Aaron Rouse — will simultaneously hold seats on the Virginia Beach City Council.
“Regent University is a place where I have had many memories, moments [and] many milestones,” said Wooten. “It was very important for me to have this swearing in ceremony right in this place … where I went to learn how to serve and become a public servant.” Wooten emphasized, “It is important to stay focused on your passion and calling. Regent was a great experience and I was humbled by the accomplishments I made while enrolled.” Sabrina Wooten is delighted in her new public service role to serve Regent and the Centerville District constituents.
“I’m so proud of you on so many levels,” Bullock told Wooten.
Wooten’s initial campaign budget was tight. She didn’t have a campaign manager and encountered many who said she was lacking in resources. Still, she received what she needed — not just financially — but from a prayer team of friends. As support came in, so did the votes.
Running on a diverse platform involving educational development, local business growth and combatting human trafficking, Wooten not only claimed 61.88 percent of total votes, but placed first in all 100 precincts she ran in.
“God made a way,” she said. “That’s the reason I’m here today.”
“This is not just a win for me,” Wooten said. “I’m celebrating my friends, family [and] community … I share the victory with the people who are in this room.”
Raising Up the Next Generation
Brent Thornton is pursuing an M.P.A. degree in Emergency Management/Homeland Security. Thornton stated, “I have always been interested in Regent. The school was my top choice.” Thornton initially attended Preview Weekend; being on campus cemented his choice.
Prior to studying at Regent University, Thornton served in the non-profit sector with donor development. He was in charge of overseeing and monitoring the large contributions awarded to the non-profit organization. Although, Thornton possesses non-profit experience, he demonstrates a strong passion for government. Brent Thornton anticipates graduating in May ‘19. His future aspiration is to serve in foreign policy development, either on the federal or executive level.
He encourages his peers to get out there and into their calling. Thornton expressed, “Glean from other students and the faculty.”
Pizza and Politics were on the Menu at the Midterm Election Watch Party
The midterm elections were important to Regent students as evidenced by the crowd who gathered in the Student Lounge Tuesday evening, November 6. Faculty members shared their expertise in the election process: Dr. Dan Koev spoke on political polling and how to understand them, followed by Dr. Nicholas Higgins who shared historical trends in midterm elections, and Dr. A.J. Nolte highlighted key races to watch in 2018. Late into the evening, election results were carefully viewed on the large screen TV and discussed as polls closed across the country.
Defense Against the Dark Arts Series: “Dissent and the Public Servant” with RADM William McCarthy (USN, ret.)
Adm. William McCarthy shared with students, “Dissent is not a new concept.” In fact, dissent has existed in government dating back to colonial times when George Mason spoke out against George Washington and the Constitutional Congress. McCarthy discussed several imperatives to consider when determining whether one should dissent or not: Is the issue in question is a moral issue or a policy disagreement? Are all of the facts surrounding the issue known? How should one dissent? McCarthy further explained the need to guard against pride but also to be true to yourself, follow your conscience, and maintain humility. If dissent becomes necessary, one should move forward in an open, honest, and appropriate manner. As McCarthy stated, “Speak up but do not subvert.”
Regent University was once again well represented at WorldQuest 2018. RSG was proud to host two teams who, along with our team coach, RADM Larry Baucom (USN, ret.) performed admirably with one team placing third in the college category. Returning competitors and those who were competing for the first time made new friends, learned about world affairs, and are already excited about next year’s competition. “Coach” Baucom, who serves as Professional-in-Residence at RSG, commented, “It was a fun filled evening with over 220 competitors from all over Hampton Roads and many there commented on how glad they were to have Regent University students in the competition.” Congratulations and thank you to Admiral Baucom and team members, Josh Bailey, Michaela Bonner, Jason Carrier, Greg Cunningham, Sabrina Estrella, Latoya Haight, Joe Hoover, Brian Leppert, Theresa Mudd, Ethan Perez, Tony Riley, and Brent Thornton.
Students from several schools at Regent University joined together for a unique interactive experience in campaigns and campaign management. Each team selected members to serve as the candidate, campaign manager, and staffers. Teams competed head-to-head creating their campaign slogan, platform, budget, campaign speech, and radio ad. The American Majority representatives briefed participants with a crash course on campaigning, teaching everything from how to mathematically calculate a target vote goal to choosing effective yard sign colors. At the end of each briefing, teams put their knowledge to the test and navigated through challenges that might appear on an actual campaign trail, all the while thinking fast to respond not only to attacks from the opposing candidate and media, but also to conflicts within their own campaign team. At the conclusion of the workshop, the teams presented their closing arguments and radio ad, and responded to questions posed by the panel of judges in the hopes of a victory for their candidate.
Former Governor Bob McDonnell Speaks at Annual Senator A. Willis Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics
Although Senator A. Willis Robertson — father of Regent University Founder, Chancellor & CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson — passed away over 47 years ago, on Tuesday, December 4, students, faculty and staff at Regent gathered to celebrate his legacy at an annual lecture named in his honor.
“He always cared about his constituents, what they wanted [and] what they needed,” said Robertson of his father. “He recognized he was a servant and he brought me up in that same tradition of service.”
An ardent outdoorsman, U.S. Army officer during the first World War, statesman and namesake of the Robertson School of Government, Senator Robertson maintained fiscally conservative values throughout his political career.
“To have his great legacy here at Regent, and for me to be allowed to speak today on some of these issues facing our nation is a treat,” said distinguished professor and former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
For more than 240 years, America has persisted, “exporting democracy [and] capitalism … throughout the world,” said McDonnell.
And as always, a host of issues endanger its survival.
Among them, he specifically addressed “trampling on federalism.” Federalism, in short, is a recognition of the need for local, state, and federal government each functioning within their intended capacity, McDonnell explained.
As an adherence to federalism drops from American politics, the federal government continues expanding its bureaucratic reach — something Senator Robertson consistently voted against.
“Here’s the problem,” said McDonnell. “You have the federal government doing way too much, not doing it well, taking its cut and sending the crumbs back to the states.”
The “upshot” of it? A national debt of 21 trillion dollars, McDonnell added, quoting Sen. Robertson: “If the deficit continues to rise, foreign and domestic capital will flee from the U.S. dollar.”
McDonnell also warned those present not to engage in the “vitriolic and toxic” incivility that characterizes aspects of the current political rhetoric and atmosphere in the U.S.
“It is a party and it is power over people and policy,” he said. “When you have that prescription to be the coin of the realm, it is very, very hard to actually accomplish things.”
He asserted that the barrage of news and social media carry some responsibility for the digression in kindness and respect.
Quoting President George H.W. Bush’s response to those who claimed he wasn’t “tough enough” — specifically during his run for the White House — McDonnell read:
“I don’t equate toughness with just attacking some individual; I equate toughness with moral fiber, with character, with principle, with demonstrated leadership in tough jobs, where you emerge, not bullying somebody, but with the respect of the people that you lead. If I happen to be decent in the process, that should not be a liability.”
Dr. Stephen Perry attended the Broadcasting Board of Governors meeting at the Middle East Broadcasting Networks headquarters in Springfield, VA. He then met with two members of Congress concerning the Board. The board oversees the United States Agency for Global Media.
Dr. Eric Patterson served as a panelist for a discussion on Religion and the 2018 Midterm Elections at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Amidst a polarized political climate in the United States, Americans’ attention is focused on the 2018 midterm elections. With many factors mobilizing citizens to cast their ballots, panelists ask: what role did – or didn’t – religion play in influencing voters during the midterm elections? And how might it influence the 2020 presidential election? Panelists will share their perspectives in a conversation moderated by Berkley Center Director Shaun Casey.
The Nonprofit Startup Center under Regent graduate Calherbe Monel and the Robertson School of Government (RSG) co-sponsored the Second Annual Nonprofit Symposium and Expo to promote ongoing management capacity development. The event featured five outstanding workshops including “Advocacy, Lobbying, and Political Activity: What Every Nonprofit and Church Needs to Know” by Stephen Lentz, Esq.; “Connect and Communicate: The Power of Digital Marketing” by Regent student and communications consultant Jasmine Smith; “The New Tax Law and Your Budget: Balancing and Adapting to Donors’ Uncertainties:” with Danielle Jones, CPA; “Capital Campaign and Financial Planning: The Lifeline of your Nonprofit” by Jeff Hammer of Northwestern Mutual, and “Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence for Nonprofit Leaders” by MPA Program Director, Dr. Gary E. Roberts. The symposium provided outstanding networking and educational opportunities for the attendees and reinforced the RSG MPA program’s mission to promote servant leadership in the nonprofit sector.
Dr. Eric Patterson and Dr. Mary Manjikian were honored at a Regent Library event as part of the series, Spotlight on Faculty Scholarship 2018. The series includes a highlight of faculty members and introduces their recent book publications, an induction of the work into the Library collection, and a book signing. Dr. Patterson introduced his latest book, Just American Wars while Dr. Manjikian shared her first published textbook, Cybersecurity Ethics: An Introduction. The Robertson School of Government is proud to participate in celebrating our faculty for their great work.
Dr. Gary Roberts and Dr. Elijah Agyapong attended the Northeastern Conference of Public Administration Conference (NECoPA) in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Agyapong presented during two sessions. In the first session, he presented his research on the attitudes of teachers toward girls’ education based on a survey he conducted in Ghana. His findings suggest that both male and female teachers can adopt an advocacy role and be responsive to girls. This research has significant implications for Ghana and sub-Saharan African countries where girls’ education lag behind boys. In the second session Dr. Agyapong and his co-author, Dr. Stephen King, presented findings from their manuscript on ethics education in public administration programs based upon a content analysis of MPA ethics course syllabi.
Dr. Roberts presented a summary of his research on servant leadership in human resource management based upon his recent books and articles. He emphasized the foundational Christian worldview foundation of servant leadership and its universal applicability across cultures. The audience followed-up with insightful questions that facilitated more in-depth discussion.
Professor Eric Patterson provided a briefing for the French Ministry of Defense on religion and international affairs on Tuesday, November 5 in Paris, France. Patterson’s work on international security, the law of armed conflict, and the intersection of religion and politics has brought him to the attention of European chaplains, diplomats, and government officials in the past, such as his role in supporting the International Chiefs of Military Chaplains annual conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia shortly after being offered a position at Regent in 2012.
Patterson’s comments and the Q&A session were wide ranging, from religious and political trends in Turkey to differences in how chaplains are trained in the U.S. and in France. He also spoke about the difference in U.S. and French models of religious freedom, with the U.S. championing a broad idea of religious participation in the public sphere but without institutionalized state-support of religion, in contrast to French laicite, which bans religion entirely from the public sphere.