Published: Jan. 11, 2016

The University of Colorado Boulder today announced two finalists for the fourth Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy. This month, the finalists will make one-day campus visits, during which they will hold public forums.

The finalists are Francis Beckwith, professor of philosophy and church-state studies at Baylor University in Texas; and Richard Bishirjian, president of EDUcourses Inc. and president of Yorktown University, a for-profit, online liberal-arts university.

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

Each public forum will consist of a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.  Both lectures will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Hellems room 199.

Finalist lecture details:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 19: Richard Bishirjian will give a public talk titled “Conservativism: Another Ideology?"
  • Thursday, Jan. 21: Francis Beckwith will give a talk titled “Taking Rites Seriously: Faith, Reason and the Courts.”

Beckwith earned a PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and a master of juridical studies from the Washington University School of Law. Among other academic appointments, Beckwith has served as the Mary Anne Remick senior visiting fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture and as visiting research fellow at Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

Beckwith is the author of numerous publications and books, including “Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft” and “Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice.”

Bishirjian holds a PhD in government at the University of Notre Dame, and he did dissertation work at the London School of Economics. He has served as associate director of Boston University’s College of Communication and served on the political science faculty of the College of New Rochelle.

Bishirjian has also held government positions in the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Senate and the Social Security Administration.

He is the author of numerous essays and books, including “The Conservative Rebellion” and “The Development of Political Theory: A Critical Analysis.”

In recent months, an advisory committee has been working to identify finalists for the next visiting scholar, who holds a one-year appointment. The committee has sought a “highly visible” scholar who is “deeply engaged in either the analytical scholarship or practice of conservative thinking and policymaking or both.”

The advisory committee includes five faculty members and four community members. The committee is chaired by Robert Pasnau, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy.

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 and Management Company Inc.; 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; Benjamin Hale, associate professor of philosophy and environmental studies; and Patricia Limerick, professor of history and director of the Center of the American West.

The Conservative Thought and Policy Program is supported by private funds.

Robert Pasnau, 303-492-4837
Clint Talbott, 303-492-6111