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Notre Dame Forum canceled

Madeline Buckley | Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This year’s Notre Dame Forum has been canceled because of a scheduling conflict with a major speaker, the University announced Monday.

University President Fr. John Jenkins started the Forum in 2005 when he took office to assemble “world leaders on campus in discussion of the leading issues of the day,” according to a 2008 press release.

University spokesman Dennis Brown said the administration will not release the identity of the scheduled speaker or the planned topic at this time.

“We are going to revisit the topic and speaker so we would prefer to keep that private at this point,” he said.

The Forum, usually held in the fall, was delayed to the spring.

Brown told The Observer in September that the forum was pushed back because “the spring semester is a better fit for the schedules of key panelists.”

The University plans to host the Forum next fall, but Brown said it will not necessarily be the same topic and speaker planned for this year’s discussion.

But that topic will be examined on campus in some form, he said.

“It won’t necessarily be next year’s Forum but at some point in the future at a forum we will take up that topic so we’re going to hold on to that idea for now and get back to it in the future,” Brown said.

This spring’s Forum would have been the University’s fifth. Last fall, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, environmental activist Majora Carter and MIT Professor Ernest Moniz discussed sustainability issues.

Other issues examined in past Forums have included global health care, the role of religion in a plural world and immigration.

Brown said the University will not try to find a replacement for this spring’s forum.

“We think the Notre Dame Forum is such an important event so we didn’t want to scramble at the last minute to put together something not of the quality as the last have been,” he said.