Honoring Civility for a Civilized Society

Uploaded by pcclancer on 18.05.2012

>> Good afternoon I'm Larry Mantle
of Pasadena Zone KPCC, 89.3 FM.
[Applause] Thanks.
Thank you.
And that's how I feel about KPCC.
And it's great to work for a place that you feel
such a connection to because it is a mission
driven organization.
One where we really buy into the idea of civil conversation,
taking the most contagious, most difficult issues and trying
to find for ways to-- for people to respect--
respectfully talk their way through those challenges.
I'm really looking forward to our program this afternoon.
It's an honor to join with the six leaders of higher education
at premiere cultural institutions to talk
about the toughest challenges we face and how we talk about those
in ways that move us forward and keep us from screaming
at each other and getting locked into our intractable positions.
These giants of higher education and culture
in Pasadena are local figures but all
of them are truly national and international figures as well
and we are incredibly fortunate in this community to be able
to bring them together for a conversation like this.
And first I want to thank them for the willingness
with their schedules to take the time to do this.
It's an honor to be part of it.
I'd like to think that--
[ Applause ]
I'd like to think that public radio is generally a bastion
of civility in an increasingly angry media world.
However, even we have to deal with the blind passion
and the fear that fuels the trend of public hostility
that we'll be talking about today.
It becomes so much a part of life
that to ignore the ranker is to miss one
of the most important trends in our country.
Though most of our listeners are open-minded,
curious about the world, there are others
who are deeply frightened with what are going--
what's going on and they cling to a kind of fundamentalism,
a closed off world view.
For them this time period is extremely frightening.
I think for some of our listeners they feel powerless,
overwhelmed by the pace and complexity of current events.
So it's easier to see the world is broken down into people
that wear black hats and people that wear white hats.
It explains things, it gives a context for what goes
on the world, and that kind of a narrative, is clear cut,
is as simple as in box as it is, is just so ripe for news media
that they can't help but pick it up and run with it
and give people exactly what they want.
But if only life were that simply, it isn't.
We can't put everybody in a black hat, in a white hat
and say that this defines who they are who is moral
or good or virtuous people.
So over the next couple of hours we're going to be wrestling
with this issue of civility and public life.
How we talk honestly with argument
and with emotion while hearing
and considering what those was strongly different opinions have
to say.
With that in mind, I'm looking to challenge our panelist
to vehemently disagree with each other while modeling
that civility.
They're good at this civility part I'm sure.
You don't get a job as a college president or the head
of the Huntington by being a contentious, difficult person.
But I'm hoping that they will let that passion out today
and feel free to really model that strong disagreement
in a respectful and open way.
It's appropriate we begin our program this afternoon
with probably the most civil man that I know in public service.
His patience and careful consideration are remarkable
as is his positive way
of addressing very tough civic challenges.
He was the first guest I ever interviewed just
over 27 years ago on my daily program air talk.
He held the same position then as now,
though the job has changed quite a bit
and the way a mayor is elected is different today than then.
He is a behavioral role model for me.
The mayor of Pasadena, Bill Bogaard.
[ Applause ]
>> I was prepared to say thank to Larry for a nice introduction
but he's introduction today goes beyond the pale.
From that time that he interviewed me
on the opening session of his program and today,
I did take 14 years off and served as a private citizen,
and then circumstances that were totally unexpected by me
and perhaps by almost anyone else have resulted
in my being back in the office of mayor of a great city,
proud to do so and truly grateful for the opportunity
to work with all of you, with the people who are here
and particularly the panelist who have
such a strong commitment to the well-being of our city.
As you know from the invitation, this event has a term,
"Honoring Civility for a Civil Society."
A forum organized by Pasadena's Higher Education Community
inspired by Pasadena City of Learning.
That's a pretty heavy load
and I thought I might just take a moment
to offer some preliminary comments.
First, civility, that's a subject
that is frequently talked about these days but rarely analyzed.
The opportunity that we have today is to see some analysis
of the role of civility in our society.
Where it's been, where it is,
and where it might be in the future.
All of us are aware of the institutions that make
up Pasadena's Higher Education community which had
so much depth and prestige to our city.
The president's of these institutions are the
participants in this forum
and they will surely provide insightful
and interesting comments.
Incidentally this might be the first time that all six
of these institutions have joined together
through their presidents
to analyze a topic of great importance.
So this is a landmark I want to express once again,
gratitude to the presidents who are here and who are willing
to participate in this way.
[ Pause ]
As to Pasadena City of Learning,
the awareness among the general public I would say is much less
extensive and a brief description
of PCOL might be an order.
PCOL is a series of meetings, not an organization.
That began more than 10 years ago.
These meetings bring together representatives
of the institutions with us today
and many other organizations in this city that are all committed
to educating, to informing, and to promoting lifelong learning.
The purpose of the meeting is to share information,
to communicate about current projects, programs,
and activities, and to promote coordination
and collaboration among the participants.
This forum is an example,
perhaps one of the best examples,
of the kind of collaboration that has been achieved.
There might be another time to talk in greater detail
about PCOL and I would look forward to that opportunity.
The forum today can be described
as considering two basic questions.
Are we at risk of losing basic civility in modern society?
And can we risk losing our civility without falling
into total chaos as a society?
Based on current events, public discourse and the media,
the answer to the first question seems to be yes.
The slightest hint of disagreement
with another can be-- can today be met with serious threats.
Candidates for office, super imposed riffle targets
over the basis of opponents and send them
out to mass audiences on the internet.
Reality shows promote and encourage crass behavior,
lack of manners and argument for the sake of argument.
Indeed, propriety may well be considered a virtue that is
out of date and a sign of weakness.
Rudeness now seems to be the new normal.
Part of the problem lies with the lost art of civil discourse.
Many of our political leaders simply cannot engage
in productive discussion.
Efforts to reach across the isle
and find common ground are infrequent.
This in turn, spills over into our own daily discourse.
Lively discussions about current events
and issues too often devolved into angry sarcasm, name calling
and personal attacks on anyone who dares to disagree.
So the next question is, what is the impact
of losing our civility?
Do not the values of free speech the right to agree to disagree?
And the protection of human--
of individual freedoms stills represents the ideals upon
which our nation is based.
Why is it then that we seem so quickly unkind
to disregard those important core values?
Our speakers today are prepared to address these questions
and I expect that they will send us away
with provocative new insights and renewed commitment
to the core values of a civil society.
It is my privilege to introduce the key note speaker,
author and President of Fuller Theological Seminary,
Richard J. Mouw.
He has served as Fuller President since 1993,
he earned a Masters Degree in Philosophy at the University
of Alberta and his PhD in Philosophy is
from the University of Chicago.
Richard has an impressive record of publication.
He is the author of 17 books including "The God
who Commands," "The Smell of Sawdust," "He Shines
in all that's Fair: Culture and Common Grace," "Calvinism
in the Las Vegas Airport," I intended to ask him about that,
and in expanded and revised edition of "Uncommon Decency:
Christian Civility in an Uncivil World."
His most recent book is "Abraham Kuyper a Short
and Personal Introduction."
Our speaker has also participated in many councils
and boards and he currently serves as President
of the Association of Theological Schools.
He is a leader for Interfaith Theological Conversation
Particularly with Mormons and Jewish Groups.
In 2007, Princeton Theological Seminary awarded Dr. Mouw the
Abraham Kuyper prize for excellence
in Reformed Theology in Public Life.
It is indeed a pleasure for me to invite Dr. Richard Mouw,
President of one of the world's largest Christian seminaries
to step forward to offer his views
on honoring civility for a civil society.
Dr. Mouw.
[ Applause ]
>> Thank you Mr. Mayor.
I'm just greatly honored and personally delighted to be here
with my Presidential Colleagues
to explore together these important issues.
I wrote my book on Civility back in, right around 19--
early 1990s and in the last couple of years people have said
to me, you know, you wrote back too early.
We need it more today than we needed it then.
And then I came very much aware of that
when I was visiting a Congressional Office--
Office of the Conservative Republican
with whom I had established a friendship and a kind
of a debating friendly debating team and walk into his office
as prearranged and I had some things I wanted to talk to him
about but he said, "Today I want to talk about congress."
He said "You know, you live out there in the West Coast,
how do you view us here in congress these days?"
And I said "Well, I'm going to be perfectly honest
with you, folks look awful."
And he said "It's even worst than you think."
He said, "I've been in congress for a couple of decades
and we used to be able to talk to each other."
He said, "We would debate, we have very passionate debate,
we would disagree about things but we used to be able afterward
to play around a golf or meeting the cloakroom
or have lunch together and talked things over
and he referred back to the days when Tip O'Neill
and Ronald Reagan would get together before each compromises
after having publicly disagreed about things.
And I thought, you know, maybe I ought to revise that book,
and then my publisher called and said,
you know we've been thinking we need a new edition of that
and so I went back and read what I've written some almost,
you know, 2 decades earlier, and when I first started thinking
about civility I was very much motivated by,
or inspired by wonderful line from the University of Chicago,
historian and theologian Dr. Martin Marty here,
and one of his books said this he said "People today
who are civil often don't a really strong convictions
and people who have strong convictions often are very civil
and what we need is convicted civility."
It is the willingness to deeply believe in things and
yet at the same time engage in friendly discussion with people
with whom we strongly disagree and as a person of faith,
back in the early 1990s I thought immediately of the ways
in which religion is often a part of the problem,
religious convictions in those days Catholics and Protestants
in Northern Ireland, Christians and Muslims in Bosnia
or Herzegovina, and other parts of Eastern Europe,
Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, those are the things I had
in mind, I wrote my book.
And within two weeks
of publishing my book I got two separate calls for interviews,
one for the Boston Globe, the other from the New York Times.
They obviously had read my book with they were looking
for somebody who had written something about civility
and in each case they wanted to talk about freeways
in California, they wanted to talk about parking lots,
they wanted to talk about isles and supermarkets.
And we're getting down to the kind of incivilities
that Larry was talking about earlier.
It is the incivilities of a lot of reality shows and lot
of cable news, and most of us who write for online websites,
very often the remarks, the comments,
that come in are very abusive.
A fundamental incivility in our society today
and I do think we are in a crisis and I'm so please
that we can talk together here because,
as the mayor rightly noted we do have a wonderful group
of influential institutions of higher education in Pasadena,
it's a great education city.
And I hope that we can find ways to contribute together
to promoting civility not only within the academy, we got a lot
of that to do before we start telling other people how
to get along that kinds of faiths that we have
within the academy on our campuses about science
and faith, sexuality, curriculum,
the use of new technologies in spreading the word
about our programs, budgeting priorities and all the rest,
we have our own problems.
But also to think together about how we as a community
of educators can more effectively address the
questions of civil society which desperately need educator along
with others leaders in civil society
if you're addressing these issues.
Let me say something about civility.
The word civility comes from the word civitas which means city.
To be civil is to know how to get along in the city.
We get this idea, this theme from Ancient Greek philosopher,
Aristotle, who said, you know, the earliest stage
where we learn how to bond with other people where we learn how
to feel good about other people, that early stage is kinship,
it's the child and the parent, the brother and the sister,
grandparents, extended family, but it's in kinship
that we really learn how to bond with other people.
And then the next day he said was the stage of friendship
where we take those same feelings of intimacy,
that same feelings of bonding
and we go beyond blood relationship through the people
who are like us and whom we like
and we form those kinds of bonds with them.
But Aristotle says, we don't truly develop the proper adult
virtues until we learn how to get along in the public square
and we have to imagine the public square
in the Ancient Greek city state where there were people
from other tribes, other nations,
people who spoke different languages,
people who have different ethnicity's and races,
and he says, in encountering the other,
in encountering the stranger that being able in some sense
to take what we learned in kinship and what we learned
in friendship and apply that to other people simply
because they're human,
simply because we share a common human nature.
When we learn how to do that, we've learned how
to be virtuous adult human beings and so the city,
And, so the city the public square the pluralism
and diversity of our-- of our live together in civil society--
political society is an important arena
for exhibiting those virtues
that are associated with civility.
And I think we educators need to address that,
what is it that we can do
because in many ways education basically picks up at the point
where people have learned the lessons
from kinship and from friendship.
But, we can be a very important vehicle
and provide a very important arena
for developing those virtuous traits that make for civility
in the larger society.
And you know when we think about that, Aristotelian sequence
of family, kinship, friendship and then the public square,
I think we can identify some of the problems that we have today
because we're really seeing much of the failure in the family
to cultivate, that politeness.
I think a lot about the-- the family meal you know,
the family meal is the first place where we learn to stay
at the table for 45 minutes with people
that we're really irritated about you know.
[Laughter] And, I can't stress the importance of--
of meals and civility on that regard.
When I first became--
when I became the provost
at Fuller Theological Seminary I was--
I went to a conference on food services in higher education.
There were people there from the Marriott chain who had
in those days were doing quite a bit of campus food services
and one of the men gave a talk
that was very illuminating for me.
He said, you know, we have reorganized the way
in which people get together to eat on campuses,
moving from dining to grazing.
You know many of us when we were in college,
in our younger days we actually sat at a table
with other people, we're served a meal and we did not always sit
with the same people and we learned the stories,
we learned how to interact with--
with different people from different backgrounds,
studying in different areas preparing for--
for different professions.
But, the Marriott people said you know these days the design
of a typical eating area on a University
or a College campus is that of a series of grazing stations.
I was on a college campus recently and they took me
into the-- what they call the dining hall.
Well, you walk in and you go to the salad bar,
you get your salad you go back and maybe sit
with a few people while you're eating your salad.
Then you get up and you go to either the sandwich place
or the hot meal place, and you may go back for seconds
and you may actually sit at 2 or 3 or 4 different tables.
And, then dessert is typically grabbing the yogurt cone
on the way out at the yogurt machine
and you're actually walking out of the--
the cafeteria while you're eating your dessert.
And, there's very little interaction there.
And, in many ways and the Marriott people said this too.
This grazing pattern is typical of family today.
And, it's not necessarily an intentional defect
but we're grandparents and we hear about this, Felis and I,
soccer games, concerts, music lessons,
church activities are very much on the run.
And, I think our son
and daughter in-law do a pretty good job
of maintaining the family meal but it's so easy for the home
to become a series of grazing stations and moments of grazing.
And, I think one of the things that we can do as educators is
to think about ways in which we can get people to sit
and talk to each other.
Sometimes we may have to offer free meals
or something else in order to do it.
But, we need to find ways.
And, in each of our institutions including,
the Huntington Library,
people come from very different backgrounds in our case
and a number of other cases very different nations,
different tribal and racial
and ethnic backgrounds certain different religious
perspectives, and, we need to see ourselves
as among other things, workshops and civility,
training for being city folks, learning how to interact
with each other in the public square.
And I think it's an important challenge for us even it's just
to think together, how can we educate for civility?
And what are the conditions in our culture that we can address
for us educators as political leaders in the city as people
from a variety of religious and other social agencies
and other areas of service, businesses, and the like?
How can we in the city, promote civility?
Frankly, I want to say, I think the Tournament
of Roses is a very civil event.
I think that the spirit of that,
there are times I wish we could package that and find ways,
what people from very different backgrounds are joining together
and enjoying some of the same things.
And I think Pasadena does a pretty good
of that in a number of ways.
But I think we could be more intentional
about the civility dimension of our participation and the way
in which we design and structure public space
and the events in our public space.
And last I want to say to you that the more I've thought
about this, the more I see this is a genuine challenge
in moral in, I want to say spiritual formation.
There's a need to cultivate the kind of humility.
It's one thing to have strong convictions, it's another thing
to simply refuse to listen to other people
to ask them what they believe, I'd happened to be invited
to this, so years ago now to speak in the Mormon Tabernacle
through a large group of the [inaudible] of Mormons
and some other people representing other faiths.
And I said, "You know, as an Evangelical Christian,
I want to apologize to the Mormon community.
We've often told you what you believe rather
than ask you what you believe."
I got hate mail yesterday about that, I'm still getting that,
you know, and it just seems like such a simple point to make.
And if you really care about the truth, if you really care
about defending the truth, ask people rather
than learning the risk of distorting what they believe,
we just had earlier today a wonderful Jewish Christian
dialogue event where we learn so much from each other
and that pasture of learning and the humility
of the one little sermon piece here, I mean Psalm 1:39,
one of my verse, favorite songs, the Psalm says
at one point says, "Lord, I hate your enemies
with a perfect hatred."
You know, that sounds very arrogant, look,
you and I are in the same side.
And then it says if he stops when he says, "Oops,"
and then the next verse says, "Search me and know my thoughts
and see if there be any wicked way in me."
And whether we're religious or not, I think we need to think
about what's going on in me?
What do I need to learn in that pasture of humility?
I'll close with a personal example,
the time that I felt pretty good about myself
on the civility thing,
I was going in through a Bond's parking lot
and I saw a parking space, pretty crowded lot, and I saw it
and I pulled in and a horn started blowing
and it was clear somebody was really upset and I turn
and she was upset with me, the driver
and she gave me the middle finger and shook her fist and,
obviously, yelling some things at me that I couldn't hear,
she was clearly, and I realized that I had taken the space
that she have been waiting for.
And she drove away fast but I got out of the car
and I noticed she parked on the other side of the lot,
a more distance spot, so I went over and she was getting
out of the car and I said, "Ma'am, I just I want
to tell you I'm the guy who you got so upset with
and I don't blame you.
I didn't know you were waiting for that slot and I took it
without thinking and I just want to tell you, I'm sorry."
And she said, "I don't have time for this," she started to cry.
She said, "If you just knew the kind of day that I've had,"
and she turned around and stamped away
and then she stopped, she just turned
around with tears streaming down her face, she said, "Thank you."
And I've felt really good about myself.
[Laughter] Two weeks later,
I returned to the Ahern's Rental Car at an airport
and I just made it in two minutes before the deadline
where I would have to pay that high extra fee.
And the attendant who was checking the other car
and just still talking to the guy
and I went over the 2 minutes.
And he came and he-- I was a minute over, and he said,
"You're going to have to pay the extra hour."
And I said, "No, no, I was here, you saw me, you know."
He said, "I'm sorry, sir,
I got to go with what's written there."
And I said, "Well, I'm going to complain about this,
I'm not going to pay it."
And I got really angry with him.
And a supervisor came over, obviously, aware of some kind
of turmoil in the lot, middle aged,
African-American woman walked over and she said to us,
"What's going on here?"
And she said, "This guy didn't want to pay the extra hour
and I checked him in late."
And I said, "Yeah, but he was talking at a guy upfront."
And so she just started "hold it," she said to her employee,
"Go away, I'll take care of this."
He handed her the-- she walked away and she looked at
and she said, "You don't have to pay, it's okay."
And I said, "Well, of course, I don't have to pay."
[Laughter] And she said, "honey, you need a hug."
[Laughter] And she hugged me.
[Laughter] And then I'm like the woman
in the other parking lot, I said, "Thank you."
And I think we need more hugs
in parking lots, thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> Thank you Dr. Mouw [laughs].
A lot to consider and I'm sure much that we can follow up with
in the course of our conversation
with our panelist this afternoon.
Let me get to the introductions of our panels who will be
up here on the dais today.
But first, when he arrived as president of Art Center College
of Design, our first panelist walked onto an uncertain campus,
the previous year that college have faced particularly tough
times with many students and faculty members turning
on the previous president to offer his plans
for a Frank Gehry design campus expansion.
As the new president arrived in October of 2009, I'm sure,
all his words and actions were being very closely scrutinized
to determine what his priorities would be, facilities expansion,
improving the current buildings, slowing down rising tuition.
That doesn't even take in to account,
the run of the Mill campus politics,
all of our panelists know all too well.
I'm sure that he'll have a lot to say about civility,
the president of Art Center College
of Design, Lorne Buchman.
[ Applause ]
He is only the 8th president in his school's history,
it's the intellectual, scientific,
and engineering powerhouse known around the world, perhaps,
even in space, thanks to JPL's missions,
the California Institute of Technology.
Our next panelist arrived at Caltech in 2006
to lead an institution that's still proudly intimate
for students but with a massive footprint in academe, science,
and the space program.
Perhaps, one of Caltech's biggest challenge isn't
in providing a superb education for the gifted student
but in balancing the whole person at Caltech,
given its intense academic demands in cutting edge science.
Joining us, the president of Caltech, Jean-Lou Chameau.
[ Applause ]
It's an institution that, as far as I know, is completely unique,
a combination, art museum, botanical gardens,
and historical research center and archives.
We know it casually as the Huntington,
a place that not only enjoys the loyalty
of the thousands each year who visit but of a staff
that seems particularly proud and appreciative of working
in such a beautiful setting.
Like so many other institutions, likely,
everyone that's represented here today,
the Huntington recently faced its own financial challenges
in operating its huge facility, paying its whole staff.
From what I've read,
the Huntington's president is being given a high marks
for his handling of that challenge
which is a very tough thing,
trying to serve a vast outside public and the people that work
so hard, so diligently for the mission of your institution,
the president of the Huntington Library, Art Collections
and Botanical Gardens, Steven Koblik.
[ Applause ]
Our next panelist is the newest to his position, taking the helm
of Pacific Oaks College just this year.
He presides over an institution that's undergone big change
in the past couple of years.
Pacific Oaks is now part of the network
of TCS educational system,
a nonprofit that includes organizations
across the country.
However, it is still locally based devoted the Quaker values
of peace and tolerance and educating students for work
in education and related fields.
The student population is over 90 percent female
and the average age of the student at Pacific Oaks is 39,
distinctly different makeup than other schools in our area,
so previously, the provost of Nicholas College
in Massachusetts, CEO of the firm education advisory group,
now the president of Pacific Oaks College, Ezat Parnia.
[ Applause ]
Finally, the president of our largest local institution
and one that is very, very close to my heart,
Pasadena City College.
I worked at PCC for nearly 20 years
and even though we had beautiful studios at KPCC
on the South Raymond, I still miss the college.
There is no place, as far as I'm concerned, like it.
I assume, even with all of the challenges financially
that it faces, it's still a remarkable place.
Community colleges, as you all know, facing huge budget cuts
and demand for student enrollment is through the roof
as you typically see within economic downturn,
huge challenge running a community college today.
Everything you and your board try to do to balance the budget
in limit cuts is going to be criticized,
you just know that going in.
You'll constantly be accused of destaining input.
But at the same time, it's so hard to get practical solutions
of the challenges that you face from the great people
who are telling you what a terrible job you're doing
and trying to solve the problem.
I've heard politics on that campus can be also a little bit
interesting just someone's told about that.
He arrived at PCC from West Los Angeles College in mid 2010,
the president of Pasadena City College, Mark Rocha.
[ Applause ]
Gentlemen, I'm counting on you
to really sink your teeth into this.
I know that you work in an environment
where anything you say during a recorded event
like this could be used against you, taking out context
to show how insensitive you are, how misguided,
your priorities are all wrong, so we know that going in.
But it would my intent to push you nonetheless to say things
that really express how you feel about this and to take
on the challenges you're facing on your campus.
The audience is laughing
but I trust you're really going to do this.
Let me begin, first of all, by getting a quick response
to what we heard in our keynote address, your response
to the comments from a man who comes
from his own personal phase as well
as his study of human nature.
Let me begin with you, Dr. Buchman, your response
to what we just heard.
>> I think his right, actually.
[Laughter] Fundamentally, it's interesting to me
that the whole issue of difference and our capacity
as a culture and as a society
to congregate difference is the most pressing problem we have.
We arguably have gone from a 20th century
that was preoccupied with issues of ideology to a kind
of politics of identity today.
And it's interesting to me that the fear of the stranger
that the issue of kind of facing what we don't know, the other
and the threat of the other contains toward us
as human beings seems to be a trigger for us to come forward
and lose a kind of basic willingness
to engage in a civil way.
That incivility is somehow a part of fear,
it's a part of threat, it's a part of struggling with,
somehow, acknowledging
or certain superiority over another.
And ultimately, I actually think that it's wonderful
that education institutions are coming together here
because I don't know of a better path to human dignity,
I don't know of a better way to resolute the issue
of identity than for education.
And I would say, particularly, that education and the world
of higher education is a place where identity can be wrestled
with where we can understand the problems and the situations
that plagued us in our fear of the stranger
and that particularly it won't surprise you,
art and design education
that fundamentally honors the imagination that is
about collaboration, that is about saying something
and looking at it in a way that's never been seen before
which, arguably, is the greatest
and most sacred pass of the artist with.
I would say, within that environment
that we could really begin to wrestle with that issue.
>> I'd even say, you know,
at your institution 'cause I've seen your student body
incredibly diverse.
You have students from around the world and part
of what you're encouraging them to do of course,
is to take risk, to put themselves out there
to potentially endure ridicule, harsh critique,
and so they're trying to build their resiliency to be able
to hear that, to be able to do that and to not be so devastated
or to lash out against that, but to be able
to work collaboratively is a huge thing.
I want to talk more about that as we continue.
>> Okay, okay.
All right.
>> Do you want just to add some, yeah.
>> Well, I was just going to say that the balance is that,
you know, I like to think we teach people courage,
that's what we're doing, we're teaching them the courage
of their conviction and to be through the artistic process
and through the design process to have the courage to be
at people to say what they need to say, to solve the problems
that they need to solve.
But there are also a disruptive force in our culture too.
Artist need to tell us things
that were not comfortable hearing, and so,
it's an interesting balance of giving them the courage to do it
but understanding that there's a way of communicating
and creating a balance, that's very important.
>> And encouraging artist to listen as well.
Just 'cause you're an artist, it doesn't mean
that you have some platform where you're not immune
to having to engage with critiques.
>> I think compassionate and empathy
and listening is crucial to them.
So therefore, I think [inaudible]
>> Doctor Chameau, your response the Doctor Mouw's key note?
>> First being, I'm sorry [inaudible] I
like the part about dining.
[Laughter] And I do agree with you that on the level
of this family unit, it is a lost act,
and I think this is something we should pay attention too.
Maybe, it does [inaudible] the quality
of the food too, but it's not.
[Laughter] So I think it is, you know, it was.
I know you are trying to be a bit [inaudible]
but I think it was an important point.
Being civil starts learning when you're
at home, within your family.
One point I will somewhat disagree with you,
so we are allowed to disagree?
>> Good, yes, yes, you're encouraged.
>> Is that you, unless I misunderstood you,
you tried to imply a belief that part of the issue has to do
with the level of education and maybe people are maybe there is,
you know, a recurring theme that we believe in here.
You can show the level is declining in a down swing.
And I'm not sure if it is really education per se.
To a large level our political figures are educated or supposed
to be educated, but maybe more relative to less interest
in learning and you see, that specially
in political configures, they're saying they're educated
but they don't want to learn new thing,
they are afraid of new thing.
And so there is-- there may be a slight to know.
I'm not saying I disagree with you
or with a slight default view of the question.
Couple of point I would like to add to what you say, in one,
since we go from art to engineering and science
and technology here, one which we left with technology.
I think I do believe that we maybe most civil
than we give our self credit for.
We have an issue I think which is to be overconnected.
We live in a world where the reason of hyper connection.
Whatever is being said at a given time goes over the world
in a matter of seconds.
And because of that, what is more exciting is not
to have two people who agree, but two people who disagree
and sometimes we are fighting over an issue.
So the life of civility of that you received
of course among political figure and so on is being amplified
to an extreme level that's the only thing people pay attention
to because it goes very quickly.
The point I would like to make I think, it is critical
for the belief force to be more civil as a nation
because if we are not more civil as a nation, how do we expect
to get along and work with all the other nations in a world.
And I think it's a point that you try
to make but I would like to--
>> What do you mean by them more civil as a nation?
>> More civil as a nation means to have which was described,
a level of discuss, of discussion, to be able to argue
with each other, but do it in a way that is,
that it is constructive, that allow people to agree,
to disagree and to be consensus in some way which we seem
to have been losing especially at the level
above the nation and level of the--
>> Say American people, yeah, all right, very good.
Let's see, Doctor Koblik, your take on this.
>> I really wanted to put on a hat as a historian for a second
and look at Richard's comments, you know, in that context
and I want to contrast the story he told about meeting his,
this Congressman friend and the friend saying the things are
worst than you think, and then to talk briefly
about there's a fundamental instability in our sub-society
which is worth, which were also reflected on.
Unfortunately, historians have this nasty way
of actually looking at things.
And so when you talk, it maybe worst than we think
at the national level but I want to remind everyone
that this country was conceived in extraordinary violence
in which among other things, at least two
of the founding fathers had duel with each other
about something silly.
And that--
>> Are you suggesting we return to that to resolve.
>> That well, I just wanted to point out that conjugal periods
when Congress has been much rougher,
fist fights, knifings, et cetera.
We're not unusual in the 19th Century.
We had something called the Civil war
that killed an extraordinarily high percentage
of the people living in this country to free some
of our fellow citizens.
And certainly, the civility in the 20th Century
in the house has not always been the case.
So I started out with that observation
which I know you know.
The other thing is and to some extend, I think it goes along
with what John Lewis is talking about.
I'm not convinced that there's a fundamental
in civility in this country.
I do think as Larry said in the introduction.
There's an enormous amount of fear in the country,
it's a very, very difficult time,
we've come through a period and I'm not really thinking
about the Second World War, Civil Rights Movement,
and then really frankly, the decline of the family
which is you, I think correctly pointed out has been
such a central part of how people learn how
to interact with each other.
But we know the numbers, the statistics related to that.
What always strikes me and I'm not a foreigner
but I live a lot abroad and I miss being in California
in particular when I'm abroad because we are so different
and it's the difference which makes California so exciting.
And I think all of us know that we walk down the street,
we're going to interact with people
who are not the same as us.
At least for me, that gives my life meaning
and I always rush back here as soon as I can.
So, and I think a lot of people feel that way.
We're having as a difficulty with public discourse
and I think the public discourse,
the difficulties there are a product of a whole bunch
of things that some of which, I thought Larry was getting
at and we can return to.
>> All right, Doctor Koblik, thank you.
Doctor Parnia?
>> Well, I'd like to agree with Richard about that we are
in a crisis and I also agree with Steve that in fact,
we had-- had more past violent among our politician
in Washington DC, but it wasn't the time
that if somebody said something, it was transmitted
around the world and most of that remained in Washington.
When representative, Joel Wilson screamed that you lied
to President Obama in 2009, I think that was transmitted all
over the world and of course, the children of this country
and I feel that the politicians
in Washington DC are setting a very bad example for the rest
of us in terms of what we need to do, in terms of civility.
And I really feel that there's more can be done among the
politicians but right now, the rating in terms of Congress,
it's a 7 percent in terms of approval rating
and almost 98 percent of the Congress get elected every year.
So we have a work to do, you know, in terms of citizens
and for them to be informed so they can do a better job
and of course, education plays a very important role
in that direction.
So we have a lot of work to do and of course, you know,
we we're talking earlier in terms of K through 12
and how much education happens there that in fact,
it has gone backward in many ways.
So and that's where the civility starts by the way, you know,
among the children and of course in the home and all of that,
and I have some stats that I'll show with you in terms of TV
and the amount of information now a day
that the kids are exposed to.
And you know, it's all about incivility rather than civility.
>> All right, and Doctor Marty,
you mentioned a 7 percent approval rating for Congress.
Remember there is a margin of error.
I'm highly skeptical just high as 7,
that could be as low as 4 percent.
So just-- [Laughter]
Not to slip hairs.
Dr. Rocha, your response to Dr. Mouw,
expose your other panelist to this point.
>> Yeah. Thank you Larry, first of all I'm very grateful
to Dr. Mouw's book which I did read and, you know,
I though I have the-- I'm from the public side here
and among my colleagues and I know I have the distinction
of being the only one of us who appeared on the front page
of the Star News in front of a student protest
on the administration steps and so I had an opportunity
to practice some civility there because they have a whole bunch
of students that I can't get my classes and they're yelling
at you and calling your names and so on
and so it was a real test.
And a couple of things came to mine, one the, you know,
the phrase from the Bible, a soft answer turneth away wrath.
And I tried to focus on that as a mantra as I was listening
and then as I was, you know, kind of moving through that,
you know, I think the other thing that kind of tied
into that that I read in the book, Richard was--
it's wonderful idea that of-- our God is a slow God,
you know God is slow and so, you know, I've been really struck
by the ideas here about how important a civility rests
in terms of really the almost not raising your voice,
the softness of one's voice, patience
and those kinds of ethical values.
I would say as a side bar of that event
on campus I learned a great deal, and that the one way,
we actually found a way.
I found a way to speak civilly to my faculty union president
because both of us appeared on Larry's show.
[Laughter] It's the most civil conversation that we've had
and it shows that there're a number of pathways.
This time I want to say just from the public side
of the street, you know, and I'll call this 'The Parable
of the 10 Blankets," I do agree with Steve that I think
that certainly there's--
I'm an English teacher by trade certainly the coarseness
of our discourse at the level of screaming and hollering.
I mean we just have to be role models for changing that
but at the same time I have to say that the community
that I'm in is quite civil.
I see public service all around,
I see some of my colleagues here,
and it is for the great part I'm amazed
at how civil it is because, you know,
my parable with the 10 blankets is things are getting really
rough right now because, you know, few years ago
or 10 years ago or whenever the money was good, you know,
we were all-- there were 10 of us, you know, let's just say
in a room and all of us, you know, had beds and each one
of us had a blanket, okay?
And we slept comfortably at night, all right,
every day we good night sleep and so on.
And then the state showed up and said, "Okay,
we only have 8 blankets now," okay?
And so those of us who are charged, we should stand
and starts, you know, to get in the discussion and say,
"Who doesn't get the blankets?"
You know, who-- so and I think a lot of the discussion
that is really strenuous and strange and so it comes from,
you know, the real issues which are contentious,
I mean we're talking about, you know, having to make priorities
that we'd never had made before.
And I'll leave it there and perhaps come back there.
There's a wonderful passage in Dr. Mouw's book about leadership
and I think one of the thing is about how we really has to work
on transformational leadership and something that we--
I certainly I have fall short to the mark up
but we need to fix on as a goal.
>> I want to take your point Dr. Rocha and kind of weave it
in with some of the other things there said.
I think you're absolutely right that today public debates take
on this very high stakes nature to it.
Some of which is absolutely authentic
that you're talking about fuel resources.
People feeling like in the case of PCC students,
it's going to take many years to get through.
I can't get classes, I can't afford to keep doing it,
you know, that kind of pressure that they feel.
But I think there's even more than that.
I think there was a feeling because of this high fear level
of anxiety that we've been talking
about where everything takes on ultimate stakes, they kind of,
you know, low level fires, every thing's an inferno
and everything has to be fought with all guns blazing.
So how do we get some perspective on some of this?
Understanding there are some of the serious life and death
or serious economic challenges, other things that are
about people feeling disrespected that had more to do
with ego than actually, you know, real life differences
and people's own fears to insecurity.
How do we address and get some perspective
on things first of all?
>> Well, all I can say in that
and certainly there's more wisdom here
that I think the function of our leadership has to be to try
and create a safe environment o--
I mean the people on my campus, the students are being injured
and so I think it's incumbent upon us to try
and create an environment where that discussion can happen.
That also say just quickly that part of civility and part
of the answer to your question, it has something to do
with what I would call, you know, generational generosity,
that there's a sense that and certainly our students feel,
there's a sense of, "Well, hey you guys got through
and you guys got, you know, public education
and everything that's good and so on
and now you're turning around, the money's tight
and we're getting hit.
That's a legiti-- I think
>> Part of this is legitimate but let me push back on that
because part of the other side
of that id we have many more people going to college
than we ever had going to college and the percent
of people going to college has grown more than the percentage
of the total population that pay taxes.
So part of it, I understand you feeling as soon
as they got there, that's what I mean,
the other is there's something real
that has changed significantly in the intervening years.
Part of this I think is looking at the totality
of it doesn't invalidate the student's concerns
or what it means to them individually,
but it's a more complicated picture
than just they got theirs why can I get my part.
>> Right.
>> Well, I think is, you know, for us it's certainly a debate
like one of the great debates in our culture politically,
public education, K-12, community colleges and so
on is what is the nature of the public role?
Are we going to, you know, are we going to--
does the pubic have a role-- and so I certainly I think one
of the keys to civility is to recall historically the notion
of Frank-linian's self interest.
We're so polarized now between the, you know,
cut your taxes kind of socialism scales of the debate.
Now when you really need to go back to our own history and look
at Benjamin Franklin's autobiography and his enlighten
to self-interest is that I have a book,
Ezat [phonetic] has got a book, we each have one book
but if we put it into the middle
and make a library we now have two books.
>> All right.
>> And so.
>> Let's get some other folks here into the mix on this.
Anyway, I find it interesting more people go
into college than ever before.
We have more college graduates.
Colleges are supposed to be the place where we're challenged
to think outside of our own biases,
move away from just what our parents told us was reality,
to analyze, to think, to process stuff and
yet it seems despite all these college graduates coming out,
fundamentalist thinking is often prevailing.
People falling into safe places thinking down the line,
you meet someone after 5 minutes, you know,
exactly where they're going to line up on all the issues
and the individual thinking seems
to have fallen by the way side.
How have we gotten this point when higher education is exposed
to more people than ever before?
>> If I can comment and then I'd like to join Mark.
I think one of the reasons we see every thing's kind
of getting out of hand is because of the resources.
There's a limited resources and we have to do more with less.
Now that brings us to the notion of taxation, are we willing
to pay and educate our citizens and the workforce
or are we rather just basically say "No taxes"
at the same time go and go do it on your own.
I think that's going to emerge in the months to come and years
to come in terms of what's our willingness to invest
in the future of the country.
>> And that certain-- I mean this fits what you're talking
about in your campuses and higher education,
but this trend toward incivility predates the economic downturn.
It predates these huge cuts that you had at your institutions.
So clearly it's more than just the fact
of economic crisis and fewer resources.
>> I think it's coincident with the internet,
with increase travel with the fact
that as Dr. Chameau said things travel in an instant
and we are exposed to difference immediately now
and again our own identity becomes threatened
in that process and it unleashes a kind of a violence.
And I believe very strongly that conversation is the antidote.
>> Well, it's funny 'cause we ridicule, you know, our parents
and grandparents' generations for being emotionally locked up
and not really letting out, having a feel about things.
And so, all kinds of things that they do,
the motivation is unclear
because we didn't really know that.
So now we live in this era where we say we want
to know how people feel about things,
not just what they think.
But now it seems we don't know how to deal
with those emotions 'cause they make us mad
or they are condemnatory or the emotion shut off debate.
So it's part of this learning how to be more open
and deal with our feelings?
>> If we keep saying those things, it becomes more
and more depressing, okay?
[Laughter] [Inaudible Remark] I tend
to be relatively still optimistic
and I have faith in young people--
>> And good food.
>> And part of my-- that too, you know, and wine too.
And I am and my colleagues are in an environment
where we do impact young people.
So given all those issue, I think we should try as leaders
to focus on what we can do, you know.
I don't wake up every morning trying
to solve the problems in Washington.
I have limited influence on that.
And I'll give you an example of what I view is important,
at least we try to do at Caltech is to make young people realize
that collaboration can be more important than competition.
It's important to compete with yourself to be the best
but to collaborate, I think that's
where the success will be.
Try to help them to learn how to live and interact
in a social environment.
Coming back to the issues that we have at the family level,
we have young people who come out of great families
but they have not learned how to live in a social environment.
And we do things, we try to help them do that.
All those things we can do in not only the president
but people who are in leadership,
in universities including the faculty.
We have to show in our behavior that we are civil
and we are setting an example.
I always tell people, most important part
of my job is to remain calm.
Only, you know, people don't come
to my office with nice stories.
When they come to my office, there is a problem.
[Laughter] So, remaining calm, listening to people,
communicating in times of trouble are the kinds of thing
that we can do and I believe at each level and actually,
all of the president or whatever position you have
in your community to try to achieve those goals.
Over time you're having fun, so I still believe
in the [simultaneous talking].
>> Well, and I think that makes absolute sense.
The more people are able to work together
and see each other as human, the better.
I'm just going to say though, I think one of the problems is
and I think so many of us in our workplace to see this,
people I work with are great but most of them live
in similar parts of town.
Their friends hold similar views.
They vacation in the same places.
They read the same books.
They read the same online publications,
they read the same blogs.
It's its own cocoon and they drive the same cars.
And so-- [Laughter] So, how do you give, I mean if we are wired
as humans beings to have in group and out group,
that's just part of our survival mechanism.
And our in group is this tiny little in group, then how,
how do we feel safe enough to go outside
of our cloistered environment and to make a much bigger
in group and people that are outside bring them in.
>> I want-- I'll come to that but I want to start
out by taking Mark's side versus your hard questioning.
And you were pushing him
about so many people graduating from college.
It's a kind of an uninteresting statistic.
Of course, more people are graduating from college.
We live in an information-based society and the jobs
that the society produces needs a level of education
that didn't need to occur 50 years ago.
What you missed saying, which I think is much more germane
that 40 years ago, the United States had the highest
percentage of adults who are educated
at colleges and universities.
Today, we're at the bottom of the second 10.
As a matter of fact, we're being outcompeted by nations
around the world who are investing money in education.
>> That's the highest percentage of people,
college graduates we've ever had now.
>> That's right.
>> That's not true.
>> Yes, it is true but it's also very low internationally.
What's happened is that around the world,
there has been an understanding
that you need advanced education in order to compete.
So the fact that people are going more to colleges is
because they can't get jobs to sustain their families
and their lives as adults without that education.
>> But my point is if you're exposed to college,
isn't college the place where you learn to take
in outside things, not shut down the [simultaneous talking].
>> Not necessarily, don't-- don't.
I would disagree with Lorne in terms of the wonderful,
most formal educational institution.
>> College I went to, I sure was exposed to that
but you don't think that's the case.
>> I'm not going to ask what you were exposed
to because I don't want to embarrass you.
[Laughter] But I do want to point out that as Rich did,
that colleges are not this remarkable place of learning.
The cultural wars which have been involved in all
of these are very much a product of the universities
in a positive sense, if you will.
Unlike Jean-Lou I have been trained
to see the optimistic view of everything,
otherwise we wouldn't have the jobs that we have.
But I do want to point out that we need
to have more college graduates
or at least better, better learning folk.
And I like Jean-Lou's notion about learning rather
than education because the jobs of tomorrow will demand that.
And we don't have a learning culture in this society.
As one of my colleague said, I think it was Lorne
as we were talking about this, we have an entertainment culture
and that's not a learning culture.
And so we are not-- we're frankly getting outcompeted
because we're not producing what we need to produce
in our educational systems to compete internationally.
So that's and at the top, like most of the institutions here,
we're doing very well.
But it's the mass base.
So the fact that we have more college graduates
from my perspective is good and we shouldn't close it off.
So that leads to [simultaneous talking].
>> Yeah, I'm sorry, I wasn't arguing fewer people should go
to school.
My point is if they are going to school, civility is something
that should come in the process
and you're just saying that's just, that's not real.
>> I would take learning over civility frankly,
but that's my own, my own view.
>> You can't have both?
Wait, wait.
There is-- yeah.
>> We have both.
>> It would be nice to have both but I really want to get
at this issue of priorities.
Because if, to take Mark's question,
the society which I thought was the right question.
If the society has a responsibility to ensure
that most of our 18 to 30 year olds have the opportunity
for post-secondary education, and I think they do,
I would argue that for the nature of a civil society,
we need an educated public, then we need to educate the students
and the students become the priority.
>> But you're just saying
that education doesn't correlate with civility.
>> I didn't think it necessarily does.
>> So--
>> I said that the society needs educated people
and that doesn't guarantee they're going to be civil.
>> Right.
>> Okay. But you had, I thought, introduced this issue in a way
that somehow that we have all these people in college
and they're not civil.
Well, going to college doesn't necessarily make you civil.
>> Should it?
>> Well, that's a very interesting question that lots
of different colleges talk about but frankly,
most of us don't do much about it.
So that--
>> So you're all here though.
I mean is this something that you should commit to as part
of the mission of higher education?
>> It depends on, from my perspective
and I was a college president as you know,
it depends on what the other aspect of your mission is.
And if I have to give a choice, if I have to choose
between developing people skills intellectually
and developing their critical skills, I will lave civility
to other institutions.
>> See, I'd say you can't be intellectually developed
without civility, I would argue.
I don't think it's possible.
Go ahead.
>> May I interject for a second.
I mean, one assumption you are making that every college
and university in the United States attempts
to educate students become culture based
and understand the culture and therefore,
respect other cultures and other groups.
That's not the reality of it but the exception of some schools,
for instance, community colleges and others.
Most of the institutions are operating very much
in terms of dominant culture.
I come from northeast and having been here for about four months,
I'm just amazed about the diversity of Los Angeles
and the culture of different cities and towns.
This is the future of America, you know.
When you go to northeast and I came from a school
that was 95 percent white and they have no understanding
of what's going on around the country
and imagine they don't get any education whatsoever
when it comes to intercultural understanding and values,
and then we expect these students to graduate and go
to the workplace and understand other cultures.
So this is a fundamental problem in the higher education
that we haven't really discussed and we don't want to address.
And I think at some point it's going to come to head
because with the exception of some schools and of course,
the Pacific Oaks College and Children's School happens
to be a very diverse environment.
You know, 98 percent women in terms of gender
but when it comes to diversity, almost 38 percent Latino,
10 percent African American, and we have the social justice
and culture based education,
anti-biased education is the fundamentals
of the mission of the institution.
And I can tell you, you know for the 4 months I've spent here,
it's one of the most civil environments I've ever been.
We have people from all walk of life, backgrounds and culture
and they come to a classroom, and the way they learn
because of course they are in the real environment, you know.
Sometimes they have the fears but it's the top leaders
and our faculty that make clear from the day 1 that they have
to respect one another and that basically carry back
to the communities.
>> Let me, so let me ask you a question.
If a student comes to Pacific Oaks and says
and during the course of talking about education, the population
of public schools saying,
I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing
and it has decimated public schools.
We need to send people back to Mexico who are here illegally,
takes a hard line, a very, you know,
hard line on illegal immigration.
At your school, is that person going to be turned on
and shouted down or is there going to be a civil conversation
after that person expressed where people really engaged
on whether that's irrational constructive argument.
>> Very good question.
In fact, when I first came, I visited almost like 10
or 12 classes and in every one
of them faculty created a very safe environment.
Anybody with any kind of point
of view they can express themselves
but in the Pacific Oaks College that person will be able
to hear the view of a person that's an immigrant
and he has been here in this country and kind of trying
to make a living and therefore, they have a contact
with that person right there and then,
rather than stating something and then hearing it
through the news or someone else.
So it's that kind of interaction that really makes it civil.
But the role of the faculty is very important in this
because they are managing the classroom, you know,
and they have to balance this kind of point of views.
Unfortunately, this doesn't happen in every academic city.
And because the faculty just not trained
and they don't have the skills, if you will,
and they don't have a--
and of course it's a very fearful thing, you know,
bringing up this kind of difference in the classroom.
And if you're not trained, you're going
to be very much in a disadvantage.
So we are really facing some tough questions
in higher education that we have to address and of course,
prepare the population for a country that's becoming more
and more diverse and you cannot rule it back,
you know 50 million now in this country are Latino population,
>> You know, I'd like to add that and maybe
to Steve's very civil disagreement with me
about the quality and the power of college education.
I just want to tell my experience
and what I see happening within Art Center College of Design
in which, you know, our students are wrestling with issues
that are fundamentally transforming
who they are as human beings.
We have a program through an NGO studies we have
with United Nations called the Design Matters
in which our students are going
to troubled corners of the world.
They are going to Santiago, Chile.
They are going to Peru.
They are going to Kenya.
They are working with communities not
from a privileged perch in Pasadena but directly engaging
with communities that have issues and problems
of a very deep nature.
And it's the creative imagination engaging
with these communities that is producing solutions to
and real workable solutions to what it is they're doing.
And you watch these students, they travel there, they engage,
they are-- have these communities
that are absolutely falling in love with them
with huge gratitude and appreciation.
And they come back transformed as human beings.
In my college education I never had an experience like that.
And I will say this about the millennials,
at least those Art Center.
They may be looking for work
but they are fundamentally looking for meaningful work.
Many of them deeply care about who they are in the culture,
how they are contributing to that culture,
the difference they are making and it is education,
education at Art Center anyway,
that is giving them the opportunity to do that.
To interact, to collaborate on teams,
you have a graphic designer and you have a photographer
and you have a film maker, and you have an advertiser,
all coming together to really work from their various points
of view to make something happen and to make change,
that is transforming them.
That is the beginning I think of the conversation,
of the discourse, that will allow for a society
that maybe can reach the next level of civility.
>> It's great, that's very impressive.
Let's talk about some terms because I think a lot
of the language that we use plays in to a kind
of polarization and lack of civility.
Maybe you have your own, I certainly have my terms
and I see them on-- throughout the political spectrum.
I mean, the whole idea that you know pro-life has come
in to the lexicon, meaning that if you're in favor
of abortion rights, you're against life.
Pro or you know, pro-abortion, for example, mean-spirited,
a term that we often here.
The left uses it frequently about people on the right
as though they hate poor people
and that's the only reason why they would propose their
particular political solutions.
Even the term social justice, I would argue,
is a polarizing term that shuts off debate because it implies
that if you'd only hold
to the same solutions somehow you don't believe
in justice for people.
And so I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.
Is part of the language that we use cutting off the chance
to dialogue?
>> Yeah, you know, I'm glad you used the,
refer to the term social justice and I absolutely think
that the language that we're using is cutting off--
cutting us off from dialogue.
Social justice itself is almost a topic we don't even consider
anymore, okay.
The idea that anyone serious would go into the public arena
that you know, public spaces as you term
and actually make an argument for social justice today.
The community college was invented
as an American invention of social justice.
We were founded in 1924.
Jackie Robinson is our alum, okay.
Harbison [phonetic], President Harbison
who was a Quaker was the first college president in the country
to invite back a Japanese student
from the internment camp.
And so, it seems to me that one of the things
that is contributing to this kind of heated argument is that,
again, from the public perspective is like well,
social justice, well, we use to be able to afford
that but now we can't.
So let's not talk about it, okay.
Look, for example, okay, take the, you know,
the healthcare debate, okay, which was so heated, you know,
3 years ago when President Obama and so on
and created the Tea Party and so on.
Is healthcare a human right or not?
And it's like it's unthinkable to, you know, you're just going
to have this argument over whether basic rights--
>> But see, that's a legitimate ar--
I think that's a very legitimate argument to have and much
of the healthcare debate is really about that issue
that doesn't get directed.
>> What the academy is about is being able
to provide an environment where that debate can go on.
What kind of society do we want to have?
And of course, we're going to disagree about it.
But education in this country was founded
as a private institution.
When Lorne talks about it I'm very much aware of it.
The-- I've seen those students.
We have students from PCC who go to Art Center,
transferred to Art Center, and have that experience.
But you're talking about a few students.
And what we've always been able to do in this country is fight
for the opportunity that every single one of us gets
to have that experience.
And that's what we're letting go off and I think
that what's leading to some of the incivilities.
So one of things, you know, just to--
instead of just ranting myself, you know,
one of the things I really think that we could do as presidents
and I'm so grateful for this opportunity, I mean,
remember my college presidents had a voice
and they actually talked.
[Laughter] And they weren't administrators and they were,
you know, they actually were leaders
and they had a moral voice and they had a social voice
and they actually talked about, so on.
Now you're so afraid to say anything, you know,
and our discourse has devolved so much.
So you know, I really do think that it's--
we need to embark on a project.
We know what works, forming community,
engaging relationships, and so on.
But really, it's the function of leadership
to create an environment where that kind
of dialogue can happen, so.
>> All right.
Anyone want to follow up on that?
No. Let's talk about listening because I mean,
so stating the obvious to say that civility goes part
and parcel with not listening to other people
or giving them weight or considering that.
What can we societally, higher education and outside of that do
to encourage people to really listen,
to be able to hear each other
and to give each other enough respect to be willing
to without stacking the deck honestly respond?
>> Yeah, if I may comment.
I like to go back to what Richard shared
about family and the dinner table.
I think, as you know,
the fabrics of the family has changed drastically
in this century and of course late 20th century.
Now having two-income families is very common.
And they expect, you know, the media to be the baby sitter
and I have some statistics to share with you.
Estimated number of TV homes, 150 million,
average time kids spend watching TV each day, about 4 hours,
children spend more time watching television
than in any other activity except sleep,
54 percent of the kids have a TV in their bedroom,
44 percent of the kids say that they watch something different
when they are alone than with their parents.
And this goes on and on and it was by the University
of Kansas the study was done.
So we have basically now relinquished our
responsibilities as parents and they have become--
turning that over to the TV and of course,
the shows that we know.
And now a few statistics on that, 65 percent say
that the shows like Simpsons and Married
with Children encourage kids to respect their parents.
>> Disrespect you mean?
>> Right.
>> Yeah. [Laughter]
>> 77 percent said there is too much-- the 66, children aged 6--
10 to 16 surveyed say that their peers are influenced
by TV shows.
So we have really become a kind of a nation of entertainment
and as it was mentioned earlier, and if we don't do something
about it, and of course it all starts at home,
right, with the parents.
But at the same time, we have tied up--
hands of the parents because most of them working,
two parents working or single parents.
And so we have to create some social safety nets that they can
at least take advantage of being home on a certain time,
let's have that dinner around the table and be able
to have those kind of conversations.
So those are the issues that I think is to be discussed and I--
personally I don't think there is an immediate solution to it
but at least being aware of it will give us a chance
to discuss it and have a dialogue and discourse about.
>> You know, and what you're saying
about parents being absent 'cause part
of that may be symptom as much as cause.
When parents are gone, kids don't necessarily feel they need
to answer to anyone, right?
I mean that's, you're kind of like a free agent for many hours
of the day and when-- I wonder if when we use to live
in small towns, Steven Koblik as the historian, I'd be curious.
My sense is people felt they had to answer to the community
in certain extent, I mean you did something that was cruel
or thought I mean it's not just you as an island.
Has that changed how we behave a lack of connection in that way?
>> We become more organized.
So let's just start with the facts,
so yes small communities--
small communities can be tough places to live too.
But I don't want to romanticize depending
on which small communities you're talking
about under what circumstances.
But certainly the small communities had capacity
to do things if they wanted to.
Most of them probably didn't but if you wanted to do something,
you could have a small community.
I really do think that what we're looking
at is a fundamental change in our society that's been ongoing,
it's not new, but I do think the family which has,
you know we have a very unique country
in the sense of our diversity.
It is-- there's no other country like it in the world,
California, 60 percent of the current adult population had
at least one of their parents born outside the United States.
So we are diverse society, we also have the kinds of demands
that Ezat was talking about in terms of two working people
in the partnership that exists.
And obviously that puts enormous pressure
on both how a family works but then how a society works.
And I think we are in for a very long haul as we try
to create new communities.
We're-- we don't really have a choice.
We're not going back to the past.
We are going to create new communities
and I think you actually asked me the question
about us living each in our own self constructive--
>> Yeah.
>> -- cocoon.
I didn't forget that.
I just wanted to needle you on the other topic.
[Laughter] But the fact
of the matter is we have too many choices.
I mean that's what's really happened.
We have way too many choices, no society ever created has had
as many choices as contemporary societies particularly
in the western democracy.
It's not--
>> In what regard?
>> To almost anything because what's happened is
that the new revolutions
in technology have given us unbelievable choices.
Well, just a regard
of you sending your students overseas, that's a choice.
Okay, we couldn't do that before.
So the fact of the matter is that we have enormous amount
of choices and frankly choices stokes fear
because we're not really capable of making all these choices.
I heard a presentation 2 weeks ago in Philadelphia
about where there's going to be a new form of medicine
where doctors are no longer treating us,
they're consulting with us.
And frankly that means I'm going to be my own doctor,
I find that terrifying [laughter] and I don't want
to be my own doctor, I want someone to tell me what's wrong
with me and tell me what I should do.
And I think that is generating an extraordinary amount of fear.
And given the amount of choice we have in terms of information,
yes we tend to form communities almost like families did before
where we share the same basic information.
Because as we know, when we try to have dialogue with people
who aren't in our communities,
we discover they have very different meanings for the words
and I think that you pointed out one when you start talking
about social justice, of course we all think
of ourselves as just human beings.
So when those terminologies are used, they're keywords
and obviously the decision yesterday by the president
to actually raise this issue of marriage to a national level,
we are going to have a lot of conversations now
in the selection campaign about what marriage is and is not.
>> Yeah, and what rights mean and how rate--
rights affect different groups.
Also, I want to ask you, I mean, my sense is, and the rest way
over simplification, but earlier in America, speaking of choice,
there were pretty clearly defined roles that people had.
And so you had the answer whether you're an outsider,
misfit, you couldn't conform to that role or you did conform
to it and you knew you were on the inside and approved of.
Now there really isn't something to conform to in that way,
so do you think that we as human beings, there's a disconnect
to sort of how we want that, certainly want to be told what
to do, we at certain level want everything to be prescribed
and we live in this world where that's impossible.
Is that how you see it?
Dr. Koblik?
>> I don't.
>> No, you don't?
Jean-Lou Chameau?
>> I'd like to-- I again focusing
on young people in the [inaudible].
I had experienced that in Caltech with really small number
of students but they are also higher in my life.
I worked at very large public universities
and I think young people don't want to fit at all, they want--
they are in fact-- they are very--
they want to be their own person,
they want to be challenged, you know, we talk a lot
about problems but you-- again, I want to come back,
we are in position and we can do something about those things.
Those young people want to be challenged,
they want to do the kind of things that you described.
They want to work on the--
you know, in our case on the research programs that's got--
that excite them that they believe it could be [inaudible]
for medicine or what.
And if we do those things, and if you by the way,
if you keep them busy,
they intend to forget a bit the activities and all that
and sing to themselves and--
>> Your students have no time for that.
>> And then okay, I think it-- as-- I think it's typical.
They're always talking about the past doesn't have,
the past is the past.
The fact is now we have young people
who are learning in different ways.
They are multiprocessing, they are doing parallel processing.
I'm not always sure that they actually process everything they
are trying to process, but that's the way it is.
And we need to deal with it and-- so I'm--
I don't agree with you.
>> So you don't think they have the anxiety
that older people do.
You think they're adapting to the new world very well?
>> I think we should get under the [inaudible]
and I'm sure they have anxieties and they do have anxieties.
But they are there-- they are handling.
Most of them are handling them and they want
to handle them their way
and likely it [inaudible] be your way or my ways.
>> Do you think they'll be more civil
if in fact they're better adapted for this world?
>> Okay, no and that's-- I have agreed so far with 95 percent
of what my good friend here said, with one exception.
He said the one when-- when the stick [inaudible] was made
about, you know, if I had the choice between learning
and civility, I will choose learning.
I think it is another choice, I think you know
in a university [inaudible], you expect to have both,
and I do expect that the young people coming
out of those institutions are going to be great learners
but at the same time will have learned the skills
which will enable them to be civil not only
in their local environment
but wherever they will be in the future.
>> All right, let me torment each of you at this point
by asking each of you just in a minute, I mean really keep it
to a minute, if you were master of the universe
and you could somehow-- not just master of your institutions.
If you could change the way we communicate with each other,
what would you do institutionally modeling other
ways to make a more civil country?
I'll begin with you, Dr. Rocha.
>> Thanks Larry.
Well, you know, that firsthand is have them listen
to your show more often.
[Laughter] You know I had this, and I have to confess that,
you know, in a guilty pleasure, you know,
the buttons on my radio and I have a car so old
that I still have buttons on it.
So, you know, I've got KPCC, of course.
But then sometimes you're kind of like too civil
and then I go right over to Talk Radio [laughter]
if you'd want to hear some arguing.
Well, you know, what can I do?
First thing that I would do is--
I agree with Dr. Mouw that to make progress
on civility requires a great deal
of humility especially those who are privileged to be leaders.
And so we really do have to lower ourselves and be quiet
and listening, you know.
And so those are just kind of personal ethics.
The larger thing is that I do think I'd asked
and our faculty are working on it.
I asked our faculty to work
on building what we call learning communities
and what is it that they think our students should know.
We're concerned, for example--
I mean, it really is hard if you go through a college education,
you learn something about art and literature.
So those are couple of things.
>> All right, very good.
Dr. Parnia.
>> Yes. I would require everybody
to attend Pacific Oaks College and Children's School.
>> And your enrollment is growing, right?
So you could take one.
>> And, you know, I will enroll everyone
and I will invite Dr. Chameau to join us in one of our pot lots
because we don't have a Marriott serving our students.
Our students bring their own food at around 5:30 quarter to 6
and they have a nice meal and then they go to class.
But kidding aside, I think we'll start with Washington, DC.
I really think that leaders play very important role in terms
of set the agenda for the rest us in terms of how we behave
and as long as this kind of situation is
in Washington developing, you know,
that everyday we see they're fighting one another
and disrespect that they extend to one another
and it's just giving a bad impression, you know,
to the rest of us and especially to the kids
because I think really we serve as role models, as parents,
as leaders, and of course, they always look up to politicians
from the president to congressmen
and senators and all that.
So in fact I have a 8-year-old daughter and she came
to home one day and she told me about learning
about the presidents and she know about George Washington
and she knows about Lincoln and President Obama.
And I'm sure when somebody insult President Obama,
for a 8-year-old that really has a complete different connotation
than anything else.
So-- And it's not just President Obama, I'm talking about any
because when you insult the president,
you're insulting the presidency and that carries a lot a
of weight in this country.
So this is not about individuals and we have
to understand that, you know.
When you insult the office,
you are basically sending a very wrong message to the rest
of us and that's not right.
>> All right, Dr.Koblik.
>> You know, I tried to explain to my staff
that they shouldn't insult the President but that--
[laughter] [inaudible].
But I'd rather answer this on a personal level
and that is I think we've already heard from Rich
and from actually everyone on the panel.
You-- As an individual you can model yourself
and you can be patient and you can be calm
and you can become a good listener.
I've always-- I'm a very political animal all my life
and it's become apparent that we need to have discourse
and so I've taken a lot of time in the last few years to try
to structure discourse whether it's with someone I'm standing
in line to buy something with or whether I'm in the parking lot
and I've, you know, gotten angry so forth.
To just structure discourse and to try
to have conversations particularly with people
who are coming from different places because I think
in doing that, we have to reconstruct our community.
You may have heard or may have been announced,
we have new director
of the Smithsonian American History Institute.
I'm not sure that they announced that yet.
>> They have.
In fact John was on my show yesterday morning.
>> There you go.
So John Gray is the new head and we had talked
about this during this search process.
And I say the problem is we've lost an integrated story
of the community.
We don't have a history of the United States.
So we're going to have to recreate it.
I think that's a good project.
And I know a lot of voices will be involved in it.
>> All right, very good Dr. Koblik.
Dr Chameau?
>> Since I knew that my plan would seem profound,
I have something really practical.
[Laughter] I would-- And you said there is no limit.
I am in charge.
>> You are in charge, right.
>> I would have every graduate of every university
and the high school, high schools that they don't graduate
from a university to spend a year traveling in a country
and on other world one year before they enter the workforce
and learn about other communities
and learn to be civil.
That's one thing.
The other thing I would do, it would be to--
going back to something
that Steve said earlier is we [inaudible], I would reinstate
to the [inaudible] as being something legal.
[Laughter] Because it would-- It does--
It did served a very good purpose when people like--
since Steven, you were critically disagreeing,
we will not get along, you would solve it.
You would go outside of, you know, the [inaudible].
You'll take of it, so.
>> But he'd have a huge advantage
with any historic weapon so I'd be out of luck.
>> Dr. Buchman?
>> Well, master the universe and ensuring
that we address this issue.
I would say we make sure that we honor the creative imagination.
Let's make sure that we fight this very distasteful way
of banning art and creativity from our schools.
Art and creativity gives a way for people to express,
to find ways of entering into dialogue,
to developing compassion to being able to lead themselves
in a way that is responsible
and honors again the imagination in human expression.
You know, in thinking about today,
for some reason I went back to a great artistic event in history
of Western culture which was a play written by Aeschylus
and was performed-- it's called the Persians.
And what was extraordinary about that play is
that the collective came together,
the whole culture came together and that play was
about the Persian War, the Greco-Persian War,
but it was from the perspective of the Persian community.
It was from the perspective of those that were destroyed in war
by the Greeks to a Greek audience.
That artist, that playwright, that Aeschylus wrote in a way
that allowed for compassion to surface, for a community to stop
for a moment with their own particular biased point of view
and understand that in every act,
there is another human being on the other side
that we can hear it, that we listen.
And that if Freud is right
that fundamentally we are just pleasure seeking
and ultimately violent
and civilization is what keeps us going, then art becomes a way
for us to develop compassion, to build it and to understand
that we can structure things in a way that allows us
to understand that an other has a different point of view
and give difference a dignity.
>> Wow.
[ Applause ]
>> We have just a little bit more of the program.
But I want to encourage you to stay afterwards 'cause instead
of doing formal questions and answers, we're sticking
around a little bit afterwards if you want to talk with any
of the panelists, share some of your ideas
or ask them questions, please feel free to do that afterwards.
We conclude Dr. Mouw, coming back up to respond
to what he's heard in response to his keynote.
Dr. Mouw?
>> Thank you.
Thank you.
>> Well, I-- I won't take long.
But I want to say this.
It's been a wonderful discussion and I've learned a lot
from my presidential colleagues here today and Mary
and I were commenting on the passionate body language here
and I want to say I think this is very encouraging for the kind
of leadership that we need from people
in higher education, so thank you.
Steve, I stand corrected on a lot
of the historical data that you read.
But it was interesting that he talked
about Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill.
He was looking-- there have been this one.
You know, I'm a Calvinist.
I'm not saying things are getting better or worse,
we've always been sinners and all the rest.
But there had been moments in the past.
And I think of Lincoln, for example, and how after the war
between the states when he could have boasted over great victory
and instead call people to forgive,
call people to cultivate a spirit of humility,
that's the kind of leadership in public life
that promotes civility that I think we sadly miss today.
And I think the-- you know, the big question, in what kind
of society-- it was-- Mark raised this.
What kind of society do we want to promote?
What kind of people that we want to be?
And I still think that-- and everyone of your--
most of your schools, if you think Pasadena City College.
If that arrogant young man who listens to Rush Limbaugh
and just says "Why don't they just go back
where they came from?"
Could meet the sophomore at Pasadena City College
who was brought over the boarder at two months old by parents
who did not have the proper credentials.
And basically never been backed and this is her culture
and all she wants to do is to teach in the school,
the kind of school that where she had teachers
who encouraged her along the way.
And to be able to look her in the eye and say,
"Why don't you go back where you came from?"
that's precisely lacking what Lorne talked
about those wonderful terms, compassion, empathy, you know,
having that "in" feeling, being able to imagine what it's
like to be her and then what it's like to have somebody say
to you "Go, back where you came from."
And, the cruelty of that, the insensitivity of that
so that the immigration debate really has to--
had to be real people talking to each other.
And I think we do have an obligation as educators
to promote that kind of, you know, that kind of dialog,
that kind of-- and so we really need
to ask how we're going to do that.
I think one of the great one and Lorne really raised this,
but one of the great obstacles these days is the highly
specialized nature of academic research and academic study.
And I'm not going to complain
about that I think we've learned a lot from that.
But for many of us in our younger years we were inspired
by people who had a big vision, teachers who--
And these days with specialization,
we often don't have that and I think
as presidents we have an obligation
to find ways to do that.
It may not be in the classroom.
It may be in other sorts of ways.
But we're talking about campus communities
and not just classrooms.
And I think we can do-- we can do a lot.
And the humility really listening, the empathy.
I was raised in New Jersey and as a little kid I was a Brook--
an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan.
I've never actually forgiven them for moving out here.
But-- And I was such a Brooklyn Dodgers fan
that when Jackie Robinson came
on the scene I wanted him to succeed.
And I can remember as a kid
in a basically racist subculture really ex-- really want--
really feeling sorry for Jackie Robinson, really rejoicing
when he stole home base in a World Series game, I mean--
and to me that was one of my first lessons
in racism, in countering racism.
And it wasn't just listening to speeches
and it wasn't reading books, but it was the experience of trying
to put myself in somebody else's shoes
and it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to do
that in terms of being a baseball fan.
But, we can create opportunities like that where we--
where we really listen to each other.
And, so I want to say I think this is--
this is a wonderful conversation.
I'm encouraged some of my heroes as presidents,
probably Ted Hesburgh and Clark Kerr and people like that.
I think we need to read their stories and learn more from them
and I'm very encouraged about what I hear.
And I'm going to say "Let's have a meal together sometime."
[ Applause ]
>> Before we conclude again just feel free stay to talk
with members of the panel whoever-- who able to stay.
And let me say to all of you that I am--
I just am very honored.
The things that you said, speaking from the heart,
the passion you feel for education, for our society,
for the culture whether it's art, science, history,
teaching education, whether it's a full scope of curricula
that you see at PCC you clearly love what you do,
you love your students and you really want
to see them make a difference.
What is better than that?
I thank you and we are so lucky in this community
to have you all, your real local treasures.
Thank you so much.
[ Applause ]
[ Inaudible Discussion ]