College of Arts & Sciences

Obama's Ear

If you had President Obama’s ear for a few minutes, what would you most want to tell him? That was the question posed to UW College of Arts and Sciences faculty in disciplines ranging from biology to music to international studies. 

In short video clips, eight faculty share their thoughts on everything from bipartisanship in Congress to the graying of America.  One professor encourages the President to rediscover his artistic self; another offers thoughts on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Their comments reflect the tremendous range of expertise among Arts and Sciences faculty—an invaluable resource for the local and global community.

And who knows? If President Obama views these videos, he just might learn a thing or two along with the rest of us.

Joel Migdal, International Studies


Joel Migdal

“…any first-term president who has tried to tackle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict—or Arab-Israeli conflict in general —has been burned badly by it.”

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John Wilkerson, Political Science


John Wilkerson

“…the first thing I would talk about is the issue of bipartisanship…. He seems to be in a unique position to really change the tone of politics in Congress.”

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Kathleen Woodward,
Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities


Kathleen Woodward

“I would put my emphasis on population aging…which is something that we’ve heard nothing about in the primaries or the campaign and we’ve heard nothing about since he took office."

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Robert Crutchfield, Sociology


Robert Crutchfeild

“One of the reasons we’re in economic trouble…is the amount of money we spend on locking people up…who probably don’t need to be locked up.”

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Tom Daniel, Biology


Tom Daniel

“By investing in graduate education and undergraduate education, we are investing in the engine that fuels this country’s economy. More than anything else I can think of, this is the long view of financial investments.”

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Angelina Godoy,
International Studies/Law, Societies and Justice


Anglea Godoy

“…we may have erred in siding too strongly on the side of protecting pharmaceutical profits and not included enough flexibilities to allow countries to protect the public health of their population…”

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Patricia Campbell, Music


Patricia Campbell

“So many schools no longer have the arts on the radar screen. It is a travesty that we’ve dropped the arts so far from our history and turned it into an elite kind of thing…”

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Kathleen Fearn-Banks, Communication


Kathleen Fearn-Banks

“…some students are dropping out [of college] because their parents either have less money or no jobs. We need to think about some sort of package to keep them in school.”

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Return to Table of Contents, Winter-Spring 2009