[Video] Everette E. Dennis on The Open Mind

NU-Q Dean & CEO Everette E. Dennis speaks on American talk show Richard Heffner’s Open Mind about the school’s mission.


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With this broadcast Dennis returns to the ranks of the program’s past guests, including New York Times columnists Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd, as well as US Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. Dennis’ interview was one of the last in the program’s history as its legendary host Richard D. Heffner died shortly after the taping.

Through his participation in a program known to “elicit its guests’ most meaningful insights into the challenges Americans face in a variety of contemporary areas of national concern,” Dennis addresses questions about the university’s unique position in the Middle East. The discussion highlights key points and promotes a new level of understanding around the complexities of implementing and upholding a leading-edge media program—including teaching, research, and outreach—abroad.

On the program, he discusses academic freedom and the idea of change agency—particularly how an organization needs to be flexible and open to the way things are done in another country.  Sensitivity to the environment, adjusting expectations and adaptation are key to success, he explains. Yet he also emphasizes the preservation of the university’s core values and the importance of their promotion in a rapidly changing part of the world.

“The Open Mind was a one-of-a-kind show, the longest running interview show on US television,” said Dennis. “Richard Heffner was a legendary figure in the television industry. It was an honor to have been on his show on two earlier occasions—and especially to be one of his final interviews.

“Through our discussion, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to advance public understanding around the complexity of setting up a world-class university abroad. What we are doing is on the leading edge of higher education in the US in that we have fully embraced and acknowledged a globalized future. As we continue to grow thanks to the combined vision of our home Northwestern campus and that of Qatar Foundation, we have learned much, and I’m excited to have had the opportunity to share what we have discovered.”

The video is used with permission from Thirteen.org.