The College of Liberal Arts and the School of Public Policy present the Governor Tom McCall Lecture.

Please visit for the latest information about this year's lecture.


June 1, 2016

The Future of Our Representative Democracy

Our representative democracy is under pressure from a variety of negative factors including gerrymandering, vast sums of special interest money (including undisclosed “dark money”), partisan polarization, voter apathy, and voter disenfranchisement. Meanwhile, Congress and our political institutions remain at record levels of disapproval. Representative Peter DeFazio discusses these challenges, how they impact our country, and the ways in which citizens can take action to safeguard our democracy and strengthen our political institutions.

About the Governor Tom McCall Memorial Lectureship in Public Affairs

Soon after completing his second term as Governor of Oregon in 1975, Tom McCall came to Oregon State University at the first occupant of the Tom McCall Chair in Public Affairs.  He taught Political Science and Journalism classes during his one term on campus before returning to Portland and a position as a commentator on KATU-TV, Channel 2.

In 1982, the OSU College of Liberal Arts created the Governor Tom McCall Memorial Lectureship in Public Affairs, using funds remaining from the McCall Chair.  From its beginning, the lectureship has had two goals:  to honor the memory of one of Oregon's greatest governors by keeping alive the ideals and values in public service, journalism, and environmental protection to which he dedicated his life; and to bring to campus notable people in journalism and public affairs who exemplify in their lives the excellence displayed by McCall throughout his career.