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Novel Class at Northeastern University Offers Advice to the Next President

Innovative Open Classroom Series invites community members to participate

Boston, Mass. – What are the great challenges facing the new administration that assumes office in 2009, and how does the new president marshal the powers of the office to address these challenges? Northeastern University invites the community to participate in a new series of classes taught through the innovative Open Classroom Seminar Series which will engage an exciting lineup of experts to explore these challenges and, in turn, speak to how the next president can – or must – tackle them. Beginning September 10, the Open Classroom Seminar Series will feature notable guest speakers and engaging dialogue on Wednesday nights throughout the semester.

Titled “Policy Advice to the Next President” the classes and discussions will be led by Michael S. Dukakis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and former Governor of Massachusetts and Robert L. Culver, president/CEO of MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency. The class is a graduate level course taught through Northeastern University’s School of Social Science, Urban Affairs & Public Policy and community members are invited to attend any or all of the Open Classroom Seminar Series classes.

“The Open Classroom Seminar Series is an exciting semester of pioneering classes during which graduate students and community members will join together to discuss what is needed for the new administration to succeed,” said Dukakis. “I look forward to guiding discussions and hearing from an exciting array of guest speakers throughout the semester.”

Class will begin with an overview focused on The U.S. in a World of Limits and Opportunities. “Policy Advice to the Next President” will feature an assortment of other timely topics such as energy and global warming, workforce, healthcare, and the Middle East. Dukakis will also lead a special lecture and post-election analysis following the Presidential election.

“We’ll open the floor to discussion and challenge students and the public to share opinions, ask questions and become involved in analyzing and exploring a wide array of critical social and economic issues,” said Culver. “Each session will provide a dynamic platform for uniting academia and the community in a thoughtful dialogue to evaluate past public policy and explore possible new approaches to effect social change.”

“The School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy and the entire Northeastern University community are proud to offer such a unique series of classes which will give students and community members alike the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns about our country and its new leadership,” added Barry Bluestone, Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy, and Dean of the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy. “The classes build upon Northeastern’s commitment to local and global engagement and will promote a free-flowing exchange of ideas amongst those interested in advancing social change.”

“Policy Advice to the Next President” is the second “open” course, which is free to the public, and will build on the success of last spring’s “21st Century City Seminar,” which featured guests such as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, and was attended by policymakers, businesspeople, and residents from throughout the region.

For more information about Open Classrooms, please visit Samantha Fodrowski at (617) 373-5471 or via email at

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