Harvard professor to speak at Wheatley forum

Jonathan Hardy
Roger B. Porter speaks at a Wheatley lecture on February 15, 2012. The lecture was titled “What Great Leaders Do.” (Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)

Roger B. Porter, the IBM professor of business and government and the master of Dunster House at Harvard University, will give a forum titled “Understanding the 2016 Election and its Consequences” at BYU this week.

The forum will be held on Dec. 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Education in Zion Auditorium of the Joseph F. Smith Building. The Wheatley Institution is organizing the event, which is open to everyone.

Porter, who joined the Harvard Kennedy School of Government faculty in 1977, has worked for more than 10 years in senior economic policy positions for the White House. From 1989 to 1993 he was the assistant to the President for economic and domestic policy, and he worked for the White House during both the Reagan and Ford administrations.

Porter graduated from BYU before receiving his master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard University. He has received presidential appointments from the last eight U.S. presidents.

Wheatley Institution assistant director Emily Reynolds said the purpose of the Wheatley forums is to bring scholars to the BYU campus who are making important contributions .

“We try to arrange maximum opportunities for students and faculty to interact with those scholars and learn from them,” Reynolds said.

Wheatley Institution associate director James Faulconer said the forums follow the institution’s mission, which is to enhance BYU’s reputation and improve faculty and student experience by recognizing scholarly work.

“We think Professor Porter’s lecture will enhance BYU’s academic climate and scholarly reputation, as well as offer an enriching experience to faculty and students,” Faulconer said.

The Wheatley Institution is presently engaged in six initiatives: family, education, business ethics, international affairs, civic virtue, and faith and intellect. It sponsors events for each initiative with several events each semester. A full list of events is available on the Wheatley Institution website.

Reynolds said she believes the forum will provide clarity and help to those struggling with the outcome of the election.

“I think anyone who cares about what is happening in the wake of the presidential election will gain helpful understanding and perspective from hearing Dr. Porter talk to us about what just happened and what it may mean going forward,” Reynolds said.

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