Institute for Politics and Public Life holds a student panel discussion about the Constitution

Discussion today is led by founding director and political consultant Michael Ford and Xavier professor Mack Mariani | September 14, 2009

Xavier’s Institute for Politics and Public Life is hosting a panel discussion led by institute director and political consultant Michael Ford, who is focusing on issues related to the Constitution including the challenges in getting it ratified, its relevance in the 21st century and whether it would still be passed today.

Ford and Mack Mariani, assistant professor of political science, are moderating the student panel discussion, which marks Constitution Day and takes place on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 4:00 p.m. at the Gallagher Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Mike Ford has had a 38-year career in politics, government and business at all levels of American public life. He has held senior staff and advisory positions in nine presidential campaigns. A 1970 graduate of Xavier, he holds a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and was a graduate fellow at the Pennsylvania State University School of Public Administration. He was named the founding director of the nonpartisan Institute for Politics and Public Life when it was established at Xavier in October 2008.

The mission of the institute is to contribute to an informed understanding of the global community, evolving technology and a clear vision of civic duty. It provides Xavier students with the knowledge and leadership tools to contribute to all levels of public life. The Institute also acts as a place to research crucial matters of public policy and governance and disseminate findings to the public. It is being created as a “home” for the kind of activities that blend together coursework and outside activities such as internships, survey research and advanced study on the role of the Internet.

Mack Mariani has been assistant professor of political science at Xavier since 2007. His teaching and research interests include campaigns and elections, congress and the legislative process, women and politics, and political internships and experiential learning. Mariani is co-author of Diverging Parties and co-editor of the Insider's Guide to Political Internships. His research has appeared in Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, Politics and Gender, Comparative State Politics and the Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence.

For more information about the event, contact Caroline Purtell at 513-745-4873 or visit