Move over, Fox and MSNBC: Two Professors to Debate on Thursday

Who needs to watch talking heads debate politics on MSNBC or Fox News when Valencia has its own in-house political pundits?

Join Valencia students, faculty and staff on Thursday, Dec. 1, to watch “A Conversation Between Two Liberals,” a debate between Valencia professors John Scolaro and Jack Chambless. The debate will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Special Events Center of Building 8 on West Campus.

Scolaro, who is a liberal by today’s standards, and Chambless, who describes himself as “a liberal in the classical sense,” rarely agree on politics. Both are avid writers and contributors to the Orlando Sentinel’s op-ed pages. “There are very, very few things that he and I have agreed upon over the years,” Chambless says.

At Thursday’s debate, Scolaro, who teaches humanities, and Chambless, who teaches economics, will tackle ideological questions of the day, including these:

  • Is Barack Obama’s presidency a failure?
  • Do the Occupy Wall Street protesters have a good point? Are their objectives commendable or condemnable? 
  • Should the United States become more like Europe?
  • Is there a bias against women in society today and, if not, why have so few women been elected to public office?

The goal, say both professors, is to engage public debate — and inspire their students, friends and faculty members to think about the larger issues facing the nation.

“My hope is that attendees will be inspired to deepen their understanding of the ‘hot issues’ of the day — on both a national and international level — and will embrace the view that being informed is an important aspect of citizenship in a democracy,” Scolaro says.

The debate will be moderated by Valencia political science professor Desmond Duncan.  Seating is available for about 300 guests, but the event will also be videotaped and will be posted on Chambless’s website ( after the event.


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