Skip Navigation

Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture

Carl Albert Center, The University of Oklahoma website wordmark
Skip Side Navigation

Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government

The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government is presented every odd-numbered year. Designed as a series of three related lectures, the general theme examines the role of representative institutions in the United States. In addition, the lecture addresses two principles of major significance to the lecture's namesake, Julian J. Rothbaum: the importance of the relationship between education and public service in a representative democracy, and the importance of participation by private citizens in public affairs.

Education and Public Service

The commitment to the relationship between education and public service is guided by Mr. Rothbaum's conviction that the success of representative institutions and the future of representative government depend upon human enlightenment in general and civic education in particular. Widespread education not only creates the conditions within which broad-based participation in political affairs is possible, but also enhances the quality of that participation.  

Participation by Private Citizens in Public Affairs

Because participation in political affairs is not restricted to public officials, a second major commitment is the importance of the participation by private citizens in public affairs. Alexis de Tocqueville, in the last century, wrote that "the health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens." Mr. Rothbaum's commitment to this notion was illustrated by his service to his country, his state and his community. 
 
The Rothbaum Lecture, embodying these principles, is an event of national significance. Rothbaum lecturers are sought from among the most able and discerning observers of American life. The published volumes that arise from this lecture form an invaluable repository of analysis and reflection upon the American condition. Thus, the Rothbaum Lecture performs an important national service and, in so doing, addresses squarely the concerns of the man in whose honor it is named.

The Rothbaum Lectures series was endowed in 1983 by Mr. Rothbaum's wife, Irene Rothbaum, and their son, Joel Jankowsky, who is a senior partner of the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP in Washington, D.C.

About the Rothbaum Lecture Book Series