The University Record, March 26, 2001

NPR host Juan Williams to broadcast town hall meeting live from Rackham

By Deborah Greene
News and Information Services

Juan Williams on campus in January to deliver the School of Business Administration’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day address. Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services
A national town hall meeting will convene March 29 in Rackham Auditorium, and the public is invited. Juan Williams, host of National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Talk of the Nation,” will conduct the on-air session 2–4 p.m.

As part of NPR’s yearlong “Changing Face of America” series, the live broadcast will explore the future of higher education in the first hour, while the second hour will focus on a discussion of affirmative action.

Williams is bringing a panel of university and college presidents together to consider the future of higher education, including President Lee C. Bollinger. Panelists joining Bollinger during the first hour include: Jacquelyn M. Belcher, president of Georgia Perimeter College, a public, seven-campus associate’s-degree-granting institution with an enrollment of nearly 14,000; Jerilyn S. McIntyre of Central Washington University, a seven-campus public university with a total enrollment of approximately 8,000, 85 percent of whom are on the Ellensburg, Wash., campus; and Michael S. McPherson of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., a private, undergraduate, liberal arts school.

Panelists in the second hour will be Frank Dobbin, professor of sociology at Princeton University and co-author of studies on corporate compliance with affirmative action policies; John H. McWhorter, a University of California, Berkeley, associate professor of linguistics, and author of Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America; and Tom Weisskopf, U-M professor of economics, director of the Residential College and a leader of U-M Faculty for Affirmative Action.

In addition to his responsibilities as “Talk of the Nation” host, Williams is a contributing political analyst for the Fox News Channel and a regular panelist on “Fox News Sunday.” During his 21-year career at The Washington Post, Williams was an editorial writer, op-ed columnist and White House reporter. He won an Emmy for television documentary writing and has received critical acclaim for his documentary work. Williams also is author of the biography Thurgood Marshall—American Revolutionary and the nonfiction best seller, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965.

The March 29 live broadcast is co-sponsored by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, Dialogues on Diversity and Michigan Radio (WUOM/91.7 Ann Arbor, WFUM-FM/91.1 Flint, WVGR/104.1 Grand Rapids). For more information, contact Bess Chuang, (734) 615-1291 or or visit the Web at