April 14, 2021

CU President Mark Kennedy, UMass President Marty Meehan to discuss bipartisanship, friendship in free virtual event

DENVER – University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy and University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan are set to take part in a public conversation on how “Bipartisanship (and Friendship) Happen!”

The virtual event, free and open to the public, is set for noon MDT Thursday, April 15, and is presented by the Center of the American West, based at CU Boulder.

The two leaders of university systems formerly served together in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kennedy, a Minnesota Republican, and Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat, worked across the aisle on many issues, forming an enduring friendship in the process.

“You learn a lot about a person when you travel with them, particularly overseas. Marty and I really became friends when we traveled the Middle East together as Congressmen,” Kennedy said. “While we don’t always agree on issues, I respect and appreciate his ability to look at all sides of an issue and think critically about a solution. He is also a man with deep integrity and a strong sense of public service.”

The webinar will begin with a discussion about their friendship, which continues to be a foundation as they serve as university presidents in a time of great challenge for higher education. Kennedy and Meehan will then engage in a wide-ranging conversation about issues on which they agree, disagree and half-agree.

“I am looking forward to a conversation with Mark, my friend and former congressional colleague, with whom I enjoyed working even though we often had different views on issues,” Meehan said. “Mark was and continues to be a person who loves a good debate rooted in reason but underpinned by respect for the ‘other side’s’ perspective. I’m sure we will have a lot to talk about regarding the current state of political discourse and potential for bipartisan action on the challenges facing our nation.”

Patty Limerick, the Center of the American West’s faculty director and chair of the board, will moderate the conversation.

This event is part of the Center’s “Bipartisanship (and Friendship) Happen!” series, which brings pairs of accomplished and dedicated public officials together to talk about their determination to extend the ties of shared enterprise and friendship across the divisions of recent times.

The event is free, but registration is required: https://cuboulder.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UIEMpQ0bRWKLc7n0S6CmFQ

More information: https://www.centerwest.org/archives/24940

Contact: Ken McConnellogue, 303-860-5626, Ken.McConnellogue@cu.edu