Friday, July 6, 2012

Discussion # 6, Closing Discussion, 2012 Panels

We enter the last discussion regarding the 2012 Munro Institute with regret. It has been an insightful two weeks. The Munro Institute would like to thank Western Washington University, the organizers, students, and participants for making the two week so successful. The closing highlight was having gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna as our guest speaker. We commend Mr. McKenna on his strong pro-higher education stand.

We are going to change directions, and ask respondents to take a moment to review and reflect on the panels themselves. If you participated or were present for only one panel, please comment on that panel. What did you like? What could have been different or better?

If you were fortunate enough to participate in multiple panels, we would like your impressions of them. What did you like? What would you have liked to hear more about and why? What other topics would you like to see covered?

Thanks to all for your engagement and insights over the past three weeks. 


  1. I was fortunate enough to participate in multiple panels. First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Weir and Marc Ravaris for all their help for these three weeks. It has been an amazing experience, I never have learned so much in a course than in this interactive class! Because of the in-person exposure and being formally affiliated in the Munro conference, I believe that these panel discussions have been enlightening and especially informative. The first day regarding the budgeting crisis, I knew that we had a problem but I was just getting a feel for how the class is. The higher education panel was interesting in that we learned some statistics of how much has been cut and what alternatives there needs to be adopted in the near future. For these two panels, honestly, I felt like there was a lot of optimism, not necessarily any direct solutions or steps to solve the issue. I think the larger issue at hand that I acknowledge is that it is difficult to work collaboratively. I liked the interaction between the panelists.

    I would like to have seen a little bit more time for questions; for some panels we had suffice time, however for other panels, we did not have that much time to engage with the panelists in some questions. Other topics of interest are to talk about healthcare in the state of Washington because we are also encountering a healthcare crisis, so it would be nice to have seen the viewpoints of healthcare professionals, businesses, providers etc.

    To be more specific, the initiative panel was very interesting. I was not positive as to how the initiative and referendum process worked in Washington State despite having a class on State and Local Politics; thus, that panel solidified my understanding of the initiative system. In this panel particularly I felt that the students did not have enough time to formulate and ask questions. The strategist panel was also intriguing! I never have delved into understanding political strategies. I liked this panel especially because I got the opportunity to hear some solutions, like Alex had stated that we need to cut the legislative branch in half because we are spending too much in that sector. I enjoyed the level of interaction among the panelists in all of the panels. If there was tension in between the panelists, the moderator made an excellent effort to make the panel flow quite smoothly. I greatly appreciate the fact that we got the opportunity to have a special session with gubernatorial candidate, Rob McKenna

  2. I was also fortunate enough, like Aman, to attend all of the panel discussions this summer. I had spoke to a few students who had taken the "Munro Seminar" class last summer and I only had a slight idea of what I was getting myself into when I signed up for the class, but coming out of it I am extremely appreciative to have had this opportunity. More than my other American politics classes I have taken at Western, this class, in a very short amount of time, gave me a well-rounded, inside look at the whole process surrounding politics in Washington. I would also like to thank Dr. Weir and Marc Ravaris for all of their help and insight on the topics which I found very helpful to understanding some of these complicated issues. I also want to thank them for being so understanding of our school and work schedules and giving us the time we needed to complete our work :)

    Admittedly, I came into this class with a very superficial knowledge of Washington politics. I am originally from Alaska and in order to keep getting my oil checks I have kept my residency in Alaska while in school, and thus I have kept more in tune with Alaska politics. From this class I have learned a little bit more about how the states are similar (initiative and referendum, no income tax) but also about how differently they have been affected by the economic recession (Washington has been hit a lot harder).

    The panel on higher education was interesting in a really depressing sort of way... It was astonishing to hear the statistics about how much as been cut, how much tuition has been raised, and how far behind Washington is nationally in education. And like Aman mentioned, the panelists seemed optimistic about higher ed, but I didn't hear them form a consensus on how this was going to be funded--some of the panelists said we need more online degrees and others argued we needed to cut the fat in areas such as bureaucracy and some social programs. I was more impressed by some of the other panels, such as the strategist panel, which offered some solutions to problems such as campaign finance.

    1. While I don't have the great excuse of being from another state, I also came into the Munro Seminar with very little knowledge of Washington State politics. I think for anyone interested in the politics of the state, this is a great opportunity to dive in head first and learn a lot! Both Dr. Weir and Marc were great assets to the institution and they sure made the class a lot of fun.

  3. For sure, Dr. Weir and Marc were of great help and they provided detailed comments on each of the panels prior to and after each of the panel sessions. But that is good that Helen has more insight on Washington politics despite being an Alaskan native. The best part was having the opportunity to have front line exposure to talk to the Munro panelists and discuss potential internships etc. Overall, I have enjoyed my experience in this panel and will highly recommend this course to others!

  4. I’m very glad that I decided to take The Munro Institute Seminar this summer. I went into it completely blind on what to expect, only to be completely satisfied with the amount of learning and fun that came from it. Dr. Weir and Marc were absolutely awesome and I don’t think anyone could have run it smoother. I was lucky enough to be able to attend every panel, and each one was very interesting and intellectually compelling.

    I loved the hands on approach to learning about these complex issues that come along with running a state’s political system. It was so much nicer learning this way, rather than going to class each day and viewing slides and reading a text book.

    I learned more than I ever expected to from these panels, and hearing from individuals who are professionals in their fields and are passionate about it was great. By having a panel with people who have such diverse views, it was easy to see their differing point of views so I was able to form my own point of views accordingly. Issues were made clearer to me, not watered down or dumbed down, which I appreciated. Most of the people on the panels were very straight forward and told it how it was, so it was easy to see the problems that our state faces and possible ways to fix this. From the Munro Seminar, I had the opportunity to meet so many different people and government figures which gave me an amazing opportunity to network. If I wasn’t graduating this summer there is no doubt that I would take the Munro Seminar again. There was nothing I would say should have been done differently. Thanks Ralph Munro, Dr. Weir, Marc Ravaris, and all of the panel members! This was an unforgettable class! :)

  5. Verscheidenheid van presentatie tool faciliteit met webcasts van elk webseminar het interessanter maken en comfortabele plek om te landen voor professionele communicatie medium voor alle grote en kleine groep van het bedrijfsleven.