When and where will the debate be staged?
The presidential debate will be October 15, 2020. The debate will be located at the Crisler Center on the U-M’s Ross Athletic Campus. Other aspects of the debate will take place in facilities near the Crisler Center or in other parts of Ann Arbor campus.
Why does U-M want to host a presidential debate?
Is there a mission statement for the presidential debate?
Yes. Here is the full text of the mission statement:
The University of Michigan, as one of three sites selected to host a presidential debate in the 2020 electoral season, seeks to inspire engagement in the democratic process. As an educational institution, we will coordinate plans and preparations for a well-executed debate and offer programming throughout the year that will call upon the expertise of our faculty, the involvement of our students, the commitment of our staff, and the vibrancy of the entire U-M community. The 2020 debate provides a unique opportunity for teaching and learning across multiple platforms, engaging all voices and modeling inclusive dialogue. Our programming will connect our campuses, our neighbors, and fellow Michigan citizens with people across the nation and across the globe. We will promote the intellectual frameworks and the practical skills necessary for active engagement in the democratic process and for just governance here and abroad. As host of the National Democratic Institute symposium with foreign experts on democratic governance, we will also further mutual learning about global issues in democracy. Debates allow for the direct exchange of often divergent ideas and perspectives, helping voters make decisions that shape the direction of our nation. Debating issues of the day and engaging in the democratic process are core responsibilities of our academic institution and a national – and international – imperative of our times.
How will the university pay for the expenses related to hosting a presidential debate?
How is a major event like a presidential debate being managed?
The university has established a steering committee of campus leaders appointed by the president and a debate core team of 30 representatives of faculty, students and staff from all aspects of our campus to help execute the event and to help shape additional campus programming.
The Presidential Debate Steering Committee is led by co-chairs Michael Barr, the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president for government relations. Other members of the steering committee are:
- Henry Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations.
- Thomas Baird, vice president for development.
- Anne Curzan, LSA dean.
- Lynette Clemetson, director of Wallace House.
- Amy Dittmar, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.
- Alec Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of the College of Engineering.
- Domenico Grasso, UM-Dearborn chancellor.
- Timothy Lynch, vice president and general counsel.
- Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
- Jonathan Massey, dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
- Kallie Michels, vice president for communications.
- Elizabeth Moje, dean of the School of Education.
- Jonathan Overpeck, Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability.
- Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
- Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity, inclusion and chief diversity officer.
- Simone Himbeault Taylor, interim vice president for student life.
- Eddie Washington, executive director of the Division of Public Safety and Security.
The Presidential Debate Core Team is charged with planning and coordinating the many aspects of the debate, under the supervision of the steering committee.
Core team leaders:
- Catherine Carver, operations co-lead, 2020 Presidential Debate Initiative.
- Ann Zalucki, operations co-lead, 2020 Presidential Debate Initiative.
Core team members:
- Jenna Bednar, director, Michigan in Washington Program.
- Jack Bernard, associate general counsel.
- Laura Blake Jones, dean of students.
- Akin Bryant, executive lieutenant, Division of Public Safety and Security.
- Mary Jo Callan, director, Ginsberg Center.
- John Ciorciari, director, Weiser Diplomacy Center.
- Dilip Das, assistant vice provost for academic affairs.
- James DeVaney, associate vice provost and executive director, Academic Innovation.
- Paul Dunlop, associate athletic director for facility operations.
- Shelly Fabrizio, associate athletic director for operations and events.
- Rick Fitzgerald, assistant vice president of communications for public affairs.
- Michelle French, project manager senior, Human Resources Strategy and Planning.
- Ben Gerstein, president, Central Student Government.
- Elaine Hanke, director, Conference and Event Services.
- Jeffery Harrold, coordinator for academic standards and special populations, LSA.
- Mike Hilliard, assistant vice president for development, leadership giving.
- Bob Jones, executive director for support services, ITS.
- Aaron Kall, director, Debate Program and Michigan Debate Institutes.
- Laura Lessnau, director, Michigan News.
- Frances Mueller, associate vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.
- Andy Palms, executive director of infrastructure, ITS.
- Amy Peters, assistant director of business services, ITS.
- Susan Pile, senior director, university unions and Student Life auxiliary services.
- Jo Ann Preissner, associate director, Office of Budget and Planning.
- Michael Rein, director of community relations, Office of Government Relations.
- Dave Schueler, vice president for alumni engagement and program delivery, Alumni Association.
- John Seto, deputy director, Division of Public Safety and Security.
- Nikki Sunstrum, director of social media and public engagement.
- Stephen Yaros, project manager, Office of the President.