Forum on Debt Crisis to be held at Ashland University

Dr. Louise Fleming, executive director of the Center for Civic Life at Ashland University and an AU professor of education, will moderate the discussion on the Debt Crisis.

9/25/12 ASHLAND, Ohio – “A Nation in Debt: How Can We Pay the Bills,” a non-partisan forum, will be held Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Ridenour Room of the Dauch College of Business and Economics on the Ashland University campus. The program, jointly sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence and the Center for Civic Life at Ashland University, is free and open to the public.

The level of the United States’ national debt is of great concern to citizens and political leaders. The Ashland Center for Nonviolence ends its fall symposium by joining with the Center for Civic Life at Ashland University by inviting students, community leaders and community members to participate in a forum dedicated to looking for solutions to the debt crisis. 

The forum will begin with a film produced by the National Issues Forums (NIF) that explains three possible solutions to the national debt crisis. The forum then continues with a moderated discussion among those attending on the benefits and trade-offs of each solution.

Dr. Louise Fleming, executive director of the Center for Civic Life at Ashland University and an AU professor of education, will moderate the discussion. Judy White, a community member of the Center for Civic Life, will record comments from the discussion and those comments will be forwarded to elected officials and will be available online.

National Issues Forums describes itself on its website as “a network of civic, educational, and other organizations and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. It has grown to include thousands of civic clubs, religious organizations, libraries, schools, and many other groups that meet to discuss critical public issues. Forum participants range from teenagers to retirees, prison inmates to community leaders, and literacy students to university students.

“NIF does not advocate specific solutions or points of view but provides citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those choices, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common,” Fleming said. “Although all forum activity is locally organized, moderated and financed, the materials they use in common are produced by the Kettering Foundation of Dayton, Ohio, among others, and promoted by the National Issues Forums Institute.”

Among the publications developed each year are issue books used in the forums, clearly written nonpartisan booklets that describe the problem and present citizens with the advantages and costs of alternative policy choices.  

The issues book for the Oct. 4 forum is available for download at the NIF store on the NIF website ( The price is $1.99. A summary handout will be available at the forum.

For more information about this event, or to learn more about the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, please call 419-289-5313 or visit the website at

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

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