The National Institute for Civil Discourse is a nonpartisan center that will advance the national conversation currently taking place about civility in political debate. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to serve as honorary chairs for the institute.
The commitment by the honorary co-chairs and board members reflect a commitment by highly influential leaders to cross political boundaries to address issues that divide many Americans.
"The mission of the National Institute for Civil Discourse is essential for our nation's future success," said O'Connor. "I am pleased to be part of the effort to unite Americans across the political spectrum in constructive debate about critical issues."
"Civil discourse does not require people to change their values, but should provide an environment that all points of view are heard and acknowledged," said Daschle. "If our nation is to successfully address its problems, we must unite behind shared values and principles and bring people together to develop solutions."
The institute is in the process of naming a working board that will be chaired by DuVal.
The National Institute for Civil Discourse will be housed in the UA's School of Government and Public Policy, in collaboration with the UA Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government in the James E. Rogers College of Law and other departments throughout the University.
Fletcher McCusker, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Providence Service Corporation, headquartered in Tucson, is the first to step forward to provide community support for the project.
Joseph Anderson, former chairman and chief executive officer of Schaller Anderson, also has pledged a major gift to enable the establishment of the institute.
"The University of Arizona is a place where all political views are welcome and where discussion and vigorous debate can take place in a respectful manner," said UA President Robert N. Shelton. "I am pleased that the National Institute for Civil Discourse will advance the cause of elevating the tone of our nation's political rhetoric."
"The University of Arizona is committed toward helping provide solutions to the challenges facing our country," said UA Provost Meredith Hay. "It is an ideal home for the National Institute for Civil Discourse, which will focus on bringing Americans of all political backgrounds together to solve problems collaboratively."
One of the key goals for the institute is to connect people with diverse viewpoints and to offer a venue for vigorous and respectful debate.
Among the institute's first events will be an executive forum with media, foundation, academic, government and corporate leaders regarding moving forward the national conversation about civil discourse and proceeding with constructive solutions.