Published: Feb. 26, 2014

The University of Colorado Boulder today announced five finalists for Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy. Within the next five weeks, four of the finalists will make one-day campus visits during which they will hold public forums.

For several months, an advisory committee has been working to identify finalists. The committee has sought “highly visible” scholars who are “deeply engaged in either the analytical scholarship or practice of conservative thinking and policymaking or both.”

The potential visiting scholars named this year could serve either in 2014-15 or in subsequent school years. The college is streamlining the search process to save resources.

The four new finalists are Terry L. Anderson, president of the Property and Environment Research Center and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution; Bradley J. Birzer, Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies and professor of history at Hillsdale College; Arthur Herman, author of Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age; and Gary D. Libecap, professor of corporate environmental management at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and Department of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ron Haskins, who was named a finalist for the position last year, is again a finalist but will not be brought to campus again this year.

“The College of Arts and Sciences is again pleased that the committee has chosen an outstanding set of candidates,” said Steven Leigh, dean of the college. “Their scholarly accomplishments will add significant strengths to our campus.”  

Each finalist will visit campus for a day, during which the finalist will meet privately with the search committee, the chancellor, provost and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Each will also teach a class—but that activity will not be open to the media.

Finally, each will hold a public forum, which will consist of a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. The finalists’ visiting days, in chronological order, are as follows:

Arthur Herman: His public forum is March 4 at 3 p.m. in the Old Main Chapel. His presentation is titled “Arsenal of Democracy: The Business of Victory in World War II.”

Terry L. Anderson: His public forum is March 13 at 6 p.m. in ECCR Engineering Center room 200. His presentation is titled “Markets vs. Politics: The Next Generation of Environmentalism.”

Bradley J. Birzer: His public forum is April 2 at 3 p.m. in Eaton Humanities Building room 250. His presentation is titled “Conserving What is Humane: From the American Founding to T.S. Eliot?”

Gary D. Libecap: His public forum is April 10 at 4 p.m. in Hale Science Building room 230. His presentation is titled “Why is Confronting Global Environmental Problems So Difficult? What Can We Learn From Examining Many Different Cases?”

Anderson holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington. He and P.J. Hill are co-authors of The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier, which won the 2005 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. Previously, he served as professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University.

Birzer holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Indiana University. His most recent book is American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll, which was named National Book of the Month by the Knights of Columbus. He is co-founder and senior contributor to The Imaginative Conservative blog.

Herman holds a Ph.D. in history from The Johns Hopkins University. He was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Gandhi and Churchill and he is the author of the New York Times bestselling work How the Scots Invented the Modern World. He is a regular contributor to the New York Post, Wall Street Journal and Commentary magazine.

Libecap holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions on the Economics Faculty at Cambridge University. He has served as president of the Economic History Association, Western Economics Association International and the International Society for New Institutional Economics.

Haskins holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been a senior fellow and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution since 2001. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a sergeant from 1963 to 1966.

The visiting scholar search committee is chaired by Ann Carlos, associate dean for social sciences at the CU-Boulder College of Arts and Sciences. The committee includes both internal and external members.

Non-university committee members include David Pyle, founder and CEO of American Career College; Mike Rosen, long-time radio host on AM 850 KOA and Denver Post columnist and political commentator; Bob Greenlee, former Boulder City Council member and mayor and current president of Centennial Investment & Management Company Inc.; CU President Emeritus Hank Brown; and Earl Wright, CEO of AMG National Trust Bank.

CU faculty members on the committee include David S. Brown, professor and chair of political science; Daniel Kaffine, associate professor of economics; Susan K. Kent, professor and chair of history; and Bradley Monton, associate professor of philosophy.

Steven Hayward, now serving in the position, was appointed last year as the inaugural Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy.

“I am looking forward to the selection of the next Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy after a successful inaugural year,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “This campus is committed to the exchange of ideas, to robust debate and civil exchange on issues across the spectrum, and to challenging our students to think critically, all of which we want our Visiting Scholar—and indeed, our entire faculty—to continue to do.”

The Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy is a pilot program supported by private funds. More than 20 donors have raised $1 million to support the program.

Ann Carlos, 303-492-8737
Bronson Hilliard, 303-735-6183
Malinda Miller-Huey, 303-492-3115

“The College of Arts and Sciences is again pleased that the committee has chosen an outstanding set of candidates,” said Steven Leigh, dean of the college. “Their scholarly accomplishments will add significant strengths to our campus.”