Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

The following Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news:
p. Clinton I : Indicting President Clinton for perjury and negotiating a plea agreement that does not involve prison time may well be the best way out of the current constitutional crisis, says Douglas Kmiec , professor of law at Notre Dame. “Indictment is the middle course between impeachment and nothing,” says Kmiec in an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune. “Imprisonment for civil perjury is highly unlikely for anyone, and Ken Starr’s obstruction and other claims remain murky as criminal matters, even if they are commonsensical. So having the president voluntarily submit to the prescribed lesser penalty of fine or probation is a genuine compromise and a responsible way out of this crisis. It also would underscore that in our representative democracy, ‘law remains king,’ and any president acknowledging that, even an indictable and only grudgingly repentant one, does us a service.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;

  • p. Clinton II : President Clinton should be held accountable for his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and, more importantly, for lying about it, according to Jimmy Gurule , associate dean and professor of law at the Notre Dame Law School. “It needs to be understood that this isn’t simply about adultery,” says Gurule, a former federal prosecutor and an assistant U.S. attorney general from 1990-92. “There are serious charges related to perjury and obstruction of justice being leveled at the chief law enforcement officer of the country. If these allegations are true ? and I would say the evidence shows they are credible ? then Congress must decide if these are impeachable crimes committed by the president. That’s where the debate will be centered. I’m very concerned that there are many people who would simply suggest that this is a private matter and therefore just walk away from it and let it be. I’m very concerned about the message that would send to future presidents regarding how they can comport themselves in the highest office in the land. The worst thing that could happen is if Congress walked away and said they are going to do nothing to hold this man accountable for what he’s done.” B>Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
    p. Clinton III : The question of what is appropriately private in our nonstop media age is central to whether President Clinton will continue in office, according to Robert Schmuhl , professor and chair of American studies and director of the Program in Journalism, Ethics&Democracy at Notre Dame. “With the release of the Starr report, the president’s strategy for survival seems based on trying to make a clear distinction between private matters and public concerns,” Schmuhl says. “By talking in religious terms about having sinned, as the president did at the recent prayer breakfast, he focused on personal, moral transgressions. His lawyers took a similar approach in responding to the report by focusing on a ‘private mistake’ that ‘does not amount to an impeachable action.’ Determining what’s truly private and what’s legitimately public will be at the heart of resolving the current crisis in the weeks ahead. But drawing a distinct line is increasingly difficult ? if not impossible ? in the tell-all media environment that exists today.” B>Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
    p. Stock market : A Notre Dame economist says current volatility indicates that “clearly the market is worried about the world banking system and is reacting to that concern.” John Affleck-Graves , chair and professor of finance and business economics, adds: “The Russian ruble is such a small contributor to our economy that it alone can’t be responsible. Latin America is a greater concern.”B>Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
    p. Teaching methods: Barbara E. Walvoord , director of the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning at Notre Dame, has complied a list of 10 teaching strategies for college and university faculty.p. 1. Have students write about and discuss what they are learning.
    2. Encourage faculty-student contact, in and out of class.
    3. Get students working with one another on substantive tasks, in and out of class.
    4. Give prompt and frequent feedback to students about their progress.
    5. Communicate high expectations.
    6. Make standards and grading criteria explicit.
    7. Help students achieve those expectations and criteria.
    8. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning.
    9. Use problems, questions or issues ? not merely content coverage ? as points of entry into the subject and as sources of motivation for sustained inquiry.
    10. Make courses assignment-centered, rather than merely test-and lecture-centered, then focus on helping students successfully complete the assignments.

Iraq : The international sanctions policy against Iraq could have been “managed more effectively and humanely,” but it does not constitute a case of “genocide of Iraqis” as some in the Catholic peace movement have suggested, writes George Lopez , professor of government at Notre Dame, in the Sept. 11 issue of Commonweal. “The impact of the sanctions may be either immoral or moral,” Lopez writes, “but judgments regarding their effect on innocent people must be assessed clearly by examining the response of the sanctioned country’s leader and in light of the international relief effort mobilized on behalf of the innocent. In the case of Iraq, the moral ground continues to rest with sanctions.” B>Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
p. Women in politics : Women are making substantial political progress worldwide as members of parliaments and Cabinet ministers, but after a century of participation in politics they still constitute just 12 percent of elected legislators and 9 percent of Cabinet appointees, according to a new study by a University of Notre Dame political scientist. The portrait of women in the parliaments, Cabinets and chief executive offices of the world is the product of research conducted this year by Andrew Reynolds , assistant professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame, who gathered data from a wide variety of international sources. The survey, which includes 180 nations and related territories, also categorizes the types of portfolios held by women Cabinet ministers.B>Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;

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