A new center called the National Institute for Civil Discourse, launched at the University of Arizona in Tucson, will see leaders from diverse ends of the political and academic spectrum coming together to develop workshops, conferences and programs to promote civil discourse.
Former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton will be heading the Institute as Chairmen, according to a report in The Washington Post, while the Board will comprise renowned public personalities such as former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright; Kenneth M. Duberstein, chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan; Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren; Trey Grayson, director of Harvard University's Institute of Politics and former representative Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.).
The Institute has been established in the wake of the tragic shootings in the city in early January this year, which killed six people and severely wounded Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who is still in rehabilitation. According to the Provost of the University, Meredith Hay (as quoted in the Post), the Tucson shootings though not directly related to the issue of public discourse or policy nevertheless led the University to think of creating a dedicated space or center for civil discourse.
With seasoned personalities such as Clinton and Bush at the helm, the Institute is expected to elevate public dialogue in the nation to a whole new level through continuous debate, research, education and policy formulation.