Photo courtesy LBJ School of Public Affairs

Gingrich Touts Value of Academic Research at LBJ Library

Oct 31, 2012

by Andrew Roush

[originally posted in 40 Acres/The Alcalde on October 30,2012]

Former speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich visited the LBJ Presidential Library at UT last Thursday for a talk titled “Leadership Challenges Beyond the Election.” The lecture and Q&A included far-reaching discussion of the policy issues Gingrich believes will most deeply affect the United States in both the immediate and distant future.

The theme of the evening was ideas—discussing, dissecting, and debating them. It was a narrative thread picked up by not only Gingrich, but also by the officials who introduced him.

“Come now, let us reason together,” said Library director Mark Updegrove, quoting the Book of Isaiah in his remarks. The idea that careful analysis, research, and thorough examination are vital to public affairs defined the evening. LBJ School of Public Affairs Dean Robert Hutchings praised Gingrich for his intellectual curiosity and respect for academic research, saying that Gingrich has “brought ideas into the public discourse.” Both Hutchings and Updegrove emphasized the value of research and academic discourse.

Gingrich didn’t hesitate to paint a complicated picture of the nation. The former university professor exhibited his characteristic grasp of details, launching into a complex discussion of the challenges he believes will define the U.S. in coming decades, a trajectory that started at the nation’s birth. read more