Friedman serves as ASU's liason to Arizona Town Hall
When someone is looking for experts in energy, climate, economics, the arts, or education, where is the best place to go?
Arizona’s three universities, of course.
And that’s just what Arizona Town Hall has been doing since its inception in 1962. Twice a year, participants in Town Hall read reports on the selected topic edited by faculty from one of the universities.
The very first Town Hall report was prepared by ASU, on Arizona’s tax structure. The latest is “Capitalizing on Arizona’s Arts and Culture,” edited by Betsy Fahlman, professor of art history at ASU.
For the past five years, Debra Friedman, University vice president and dean of the College of Public Programs, has served as ASU’s liaison to Town Hall.
Once Town Hall leaders have decided what the subject for an upcoming report will be, Tara Jackson, Town Hall president, contacts Friedman and the U of A representatives to decide which university will take the assignment. Experts from Northern Arizona University are invited to participate as often as possible.
“When ASU is chosen, I begin identifying a leader,” Friedman said. “Fortunately we are rich in talent.”
For the fall Town Hall at the Grand Canyon, Nov. 6-9, Clark Miller, associate director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and associate professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies, is editing the report on the topic of energy.
Participating in Arizona Town Hall is an extremely valuable community service, Friedman said. “The process of producing a Town Hall brings people together who are concerned with an area of public policy who haven’t had a chance to work together. It has brought people across the community and different universities together.
“Town Hall leads to other unexpected collaborations, and it educates a new generation.
“Unfortunately, many people at ASU are unaware of our participation in Town Hall,” Friedman said. “But faculty are delighted to learn of our collaboration.”