Barbara Boxer and Scott Walker to debate during Janus Forum

"The Trump Presidency: Successes and Failures"

By Jason Barone, director of communication, College of Arts and Science

The fall 2019 edition of the biannual Janus Forum will bring in two iconic politicians from the left and the right: former Senator Barbara Boxer (D) of California and former Governor Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin.

They will join each other on stage at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the Armstrong Student Center’s Wilks Theater to discuss “The Trump Presidency: Successes and Failures.” Their contrary views will be moderated by Nikki Gundimeda, a senior political science major with a co-major in entrepreneurship. She is a four-year member of the JANUS steering committee.

Tickets are free to the public and available at the Miami University box office. A public reception will take place after the lecture in the Armstrong Pavilion.

“Since our first Janus Forum in the spring of 2013, we have hosted many speakers on contentious topics,” said Patrick Haney, associate dean and professor of political science. “While the country becomes more and more divided and we head into a presidential election and an impeachment inquiry, we’re very proud that the Janus Forum is able to confront difficult discussions head-on and the Miami community is able to come together in civil discourse.”

“Given the controversies that have emerged so far in the Trump administration, I expect Senator Boxer and Governor Walker will have much to talk about, but little to agree upon – except for the importance of citizens to be knowledgeable, engaged, civil and active in voting.”

Former Senator Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer

After serving 24 years as a U.S. Senator representing California, Boxer retired in January 2017 to focus on her political action committee, PAC for a Change, which raises awareness on the importance of voting. She has been and remains a forceful advocate for families, children, consumers and the environment.

During her time in the Senate, Boxer chaired the Environment and Public Works Committee, focusing on environmental protection and infrastructure, and served as a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, where she worked for global women’s issues and for the successful use of the soft power of diplomacy. She also served as the top Democrat on the Senate Ethics Committee.

Boxer has also dedicated her work to address the threats of climate change, for which she has won numerous awards. A champion of quality public education, she wrote landmark legislation establishing the first federal funding for afterschool programs. After the Sept. 11 attacks, she also wrote the law requiring that air marshals be on board high-risk flights as well as the law allowing airline pilots with special training to carry guns in the cockpit. 

Former Governor Scott Walker

Scott Walker

Scott Walker served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011-2019. One of his first reforms, Act 10, helped eliminate the state’s $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes or cutting health care for those in need. It gave schools and local governments the tools to balance budgets without the massive layoffs seen in other states.

Walker also became the first governor in American history to survive a recall election on June 5, 2012, and was elected for a second term in 2014. He formerly served as Milwaukee County Executive, being the first Republican elected to that office, and in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

“With all of the debate about President Trump that seems to dominate the news cycle each day, it will be exciting to see how each representative of the parties discusses his administration. We are really interested to see how the impeachment question will be addressed in the debate” said senior political science major Matthew Houk, the Janus Executive Board’s vice president for internal affairs.

In addition to Houk, members of the Janus Executive Board are Annika Fowler (senior, president), Justin Grega (sophomore, steering committee chair) and Spencer Silbey (sophomore, vice president for external affairs).
The Janus Forum is sponsored by the department of political science thanks to the generous support of Thomas W. Smith (Miami ‘50).

The Janus Forum welcomes diverse input from the audience, who are encouraged to submit questions during the forum using #janusmiamioh on Twitter. For more information about this fall’s edition, visit the Janus Forum website or contact Patrick Haney at