June 5, 2019

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NYU Washington, DC and the John Brademas Center of New York University co-hosted a Salon Series conversation with U.S. Congresswoman Diana DeGette and NYU President Emeritus John Sexton who discussed Sexton's most recent book, Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age. The conversation was moderated by Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, American Council on Education.

In Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age, John Sexton argues that over six decades, a “secular dogmatism,” impenetrable by dialogue or reason, has come to dominate political discourse in America. Political positions, elevated to the status of doctrinal truths, now simply are “revealed.” Our leaders and our citizens suffer from an allergy to nuance and complexity, and the enterprise of thought is in danger. Sexton sees our universities, the engines of knowledge and stewards of thought, as the antidote, and he describes the policies university leaders must embrace if their institutions are to serve this role. Acknowledging the reality of our increasingly interconnected world—and drawing on his experience as president of New York University when it opened campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai—Sexton advocates for “global network universities” as a core aspect of a new educational landscape and as the crucial foundation-blocks of an interlocking world characterized by “secular ecumenism.”

Please note that this event may have been filmed and/or photographed.


Diana DeGette

Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Terry Hartle

Terry Hartle

John Sexton

John Sexton

The NYU Washington, DC Salon Series: Conversations with Writers & Artists presents an opportunity for the NYU and Washington, DC community to meet and engage in dialogue with acclaimed writers and artists as they reflect on their craft. This program provides facilitated conversations that aim to illuminate the guests’ creative processes, discuss their current works, and explain the impact of their work on the world around us. The Salon Series is made possible by NYU Washington, DC through the collaboration of NYU schools, departments and centers, as well as through special relationships with selected external organizations.


Inspired by its founder, former Congressman and NYU President Emeritus, the John Brademas Center of New York University pursues a collection of initiatives in the areas which formed the core of John Brademas' life in public service: the state of Congress and the legislative process in democracies; the shifting dynamics in foreign policy and international affairs; and, the present state and future prospects for higher education, the humanities, arts and culture. With a growing reputation as a home for informed and civil debate on politics, public policy and other major issues facing the nation and global community—the Brademas Center undertakes programs at NYU's campuses in New York City and Washington, D.C., and increasingly around NYU’s global network.