Dr. Glenn Moots, Professor and Chair of Philosophy and Political Science at Northwood University, is a long-time advocate for impartial and evidence-backed reasoning, especially on controversial topics.
Examining Difficult Topics Through Debate
To encourage his students to think critically about difficult issues, Moots hosted a debate in Spring 2015 on military intervention in the Middle East, reaching out to IHS for marketing support and funding through the On-Campus Faculty Partnership. One hundred seventy-five students attended. Moots says,
“Our lecture hall was packed. We had students sitting in the aisle and along the back walls in additional chairs […] We also had unsolicited media coverage from the local newspaper and ABC affiliate.”
Moots partnered with IHS again in the fall to host a series of three additional debates on marriage equality (200 attendees), the minimum wage (200 attendees), and immigration policy (85 in-person attendees and 2,000 online participants), prompting one student to write:
“Please continue these [events] at our university, especially [on] policies that we need to vote on. We are not taught how to look into issues [in the classroom].”
Normalizing Civil Disagreement in the Academy
Not only did Dr. Moots’ events challenge students to think critically and deeply about important topics, they normalized the idea of civil disagreement in academia while representing diverse ideas for those inside and outside the academy.
As Moots has concluded,
“Debates tend to bring out the best in a speaker […] [They] tend to discourage unchallenged assumptions and elicit defensible arguments.”