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Karl Rove to discuss politics at FHSU





Karl Rove is a lightning rod politically, a pundit likely to elicit a reaction from those who listen to him speak, whatever their political persuasion.

"You get a guy who is very clearly a very bright man, to say the least, with a very clear vision of what's right and wrong about America today," said Chapman Rackaway, professor of political science at Fort Hays State University. "He's certainly going to have a specific take on what can be done to respond to those challenges. Because of that, he's going to be someone where you're either going to agree with strongly, or think he's way off base, depending a lot on your political orientation."

Rove, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for former President George W. Bush, is scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on the FHSU campus as part of the Sebelius Lecture Series. Rove's topic is America's challenges.

"I think it's great for us to have access to people who will share their things, especially people with national -- even international -- renown, as Mr. Rove," Rackaway said.

The inaugural event for the Sebelius Lecture Series was in November, when former presidential hopefuls Howard Dean and Rick Santorum sparred in a debate.

Vincent Bowhay, the Memorial Union's assistant director for special events and student activities, said he coordinated with former Student Government Association president Kyle Calvin and was supported by FHSU President Edward Hammond in bringing the lecture series to Hays.

The series' first event attracted 900 people; the performing arts center holds 1,100.

"I think people didn't know what to expect in the fall," Bowhay said. "I think we've had a lot of positives."

As the series moves forward, it will be balanced, Bowhay said, featuring speakers from different political viewpoints. Bowhay said he works through speakers' bureaus to find speakers. Their fees and availability play a factor in who comes to Hays; Bowhay said outside sponsorships have helped financially.

"We're remote; it's hard to get people here," Rackaway said. "We don't have the big draw of a state flagship institution. It took a lot of effort to get the Sebelius Lecture Series going. There are plenty of comparable size institutions to Fort Hays that have nothing like this."

Tickets are $30 for reserved seats, and $26 for unreserved seats. For seniors and children ages 5 to 17, tickets are $28 and $24 for unreserved seats. For FHSU students, tickets are $10 and $5. Tickets are available for purchase at (785) 628-5306 or by visiting the Student Service Center.

in the Memorial Union. Tickets also will be available at the door.