August 26, 2019

Leadership challenges facing Illinois, nation highlight Simon Institute fall 2019 lineup

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute will continue to examine the leadership challenges confronting Illinois and the United States with a fall program that features U.S. Senate Historian Betty Koed, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian David Kennedy, and former Illinois congressman and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. 

The Institute’s fall agenda also features a special visit to SIU Carbondale by Temple Grandin, who will meet with students and deliver a public lecture on Oct. 3. She is an internationally celebrated animal scientist and autism self-advocate. 

Fall program is among the Institute’s strongest group of speakers 

John T. Shaw, Institute director, said the autumn program is “very impressive” and “includes some of the most compelling speakers the Institute has ever hosted.” 

“Our guests will bring to the SIU Carbondale campus vast experience and important insights into the challenges that confront our state and our nation. These speakers will help us expand and refine our ‘Better Politics, Smarter Government’ agenda,” he said. 

The Institute’s fall agenda includes: 

  • Sept 9 — 6 p.m., SIU School of Law Auditorium, S. Senate Historian Betty Koed, “Statesmanship in the U.S. Senate: A Historical Perspective.”
  • Sept 23 — 6 p.m., Student Center Auditorium, Morton-Kennedy Public Affairs Lecture: David Kennedy, Stanford University historian and Pulitzer-Prize winning author, “A Republic if You Can Keep It.”
  • Oct 3 — 7 p.m. McLeod Theater, The Gil and Jean Kroening Lecture Series with Dr. Temple Grandin, Animal Scientist and Autism Self-Advocate.
  • Oct 21 — 5 p.m., Student Center Ballroom D, “A Conversation About Bipartisanship With Ray LaHood,” former Illinois congressman and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary. 

‘Better Politics, Smarter Government’ is Institute theme 

The Institute has launched three programs under the theme of “Better Politics, Smarter Government”:

  • Renewing Illinois.
  • Best Practices for Town Hall Meetings.
  • Statesmanship. 

Each of the programs raise the Institute’s profile while underscoring the commitment to elevated politics and effective government championed by founder and former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, D-Illinois, Shaw said. 

”We believe the theme of ‘Better Politics, Smarter Government’ captures the essence of Paul Simon’s public service and his aspirations for the Institute,” Shaw said. “It describes both long-standing Institute programs and new initiatives and gives our mission clarity, coherence, and force.” 

For more information on this or any other institute program, contact the institute at 618/453-4078 or visit