Distinguished Berkeley law professor Christopher Edley, Jr. will give a public talk at the University of Arizona on Oct. 14 on the future of school reform.
Edley, the dean of Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, will deliver his talk as part of the McFarland Distinguished Lecture Series.
"He is an important public intellectual who is helping to shape discourse on important issues affecting educational equity and excellence in the U.S.," said Jeffrey F. Milem, the UA's McFarland Distinguished Professor and head of the department of educational policy studies and practice.
"This is a role that he has embraced for more than three decades," Milem added.
The event is free and open to the public. It will be held at noon in the Kiva Auditorium in the Student Union Memorial Center, 1303 E. University Blvd.
"He will be giving analysis of where we stand in terms of educational equity and excellence and what changes we need to make to education in order to achieve our goals," said Milem of the UA College of Education.
The talk comes at a ripe time. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education launched it nationwide Commission on Education Equity and Excellence, which Edley co-chairs.
The 28-member commission is tasked with studying ways the federal government can expand educational access and opportunities with improvements to the school funding structure.
In addition to his deanship, Edley holds Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Chair and also is co-founder and co-director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy.
Edley's extensive research and involvement has centered on civil rights, affirmative action and administrative law. He co-founded the Harvard Civil Rights Project, a highly regarded research and policy hub for important issues related to racial justice.
Previously, Edley served as assistant director of the White House domestic policy staff under the Carter administration, later serving as national issues director during Michael Dukakis's run for the U.S. presidency. Edley also served as a member of two presidential transition teams, first for Bill Clinton; secondly, for Barack Obama.
During a period that spanned 1999 to 2005, Edley served as a congressional appointee on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. And in 2001, he was a member of the Carter-Ford National Commission on Federal Election Reform.
Milem said Edley's brings exception and critically important insights.
"He is a dynamic and engaging speaker," Milem said, noting that the discussion is not relevant merely for educators and lawyers.
"Issues of educational equity, access and excellence are issues that are of central importance to all educators," he said, "and all citizens for that matter."