Rex Sinquefield (May 18)

“Tax Policy and State Growth”

Sinquefield dedicates much of his time working on improving educational opportunities for every Missouri child, regardless of social and economic background. His commitment to education recently was brought together with another longtime passion, the game of chess. In 2007, the Sinquefields founded the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, a venue where newcomers can learn the game and gurus can compete in local and national tournaments. Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of the game for students, one of the key missions of the Center is to promote and grow scholastic chess programs in area schools, especially the Saint Louis Public School System. In September 2011, the Sinquefields sponsored the move of the World Chess Hall of Fame from Miami to St. Louis and opened it directly across the street from the Chess Club. The historic 15,000-square-foot building features displays of artifacts from the permanent collection, as well as temporary exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and rich cultural history of chess.
Sinquefield is a life trustee of DePaul University and serves on the following boards:
Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri History Museum
Opera Theatre of St. Louis
Saint Louis Art Museum
Saint Louis Symphony
Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis
Saint Louis University

He also is the recipient of numerous awards for scholarship and service, including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from DePaul University.

Michael Podgursky (April 27)

“Is There Institutional Racism at MU?”

Michael Podgursky is Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri – Columbia, where he served as department chair from 1995-2005.  His research focuses on the economics of education.  He has written many articles in the area, with a primary focus on school finance, educator compensation, and human resource policy in schools.    He serves on the board of editors of several academic journals including Education Finance and Policy and Education Next,  advisory boards for various statistical agencies research institutes, and education organizations, and was a fellow of the George W.Bush Institute from 2010-2013.  He is a co-investigator at the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University, and the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at AIR,  two national research centers funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.   He serves on the board of the Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center and the Show-Me Institute.

Robert Barnidge (March 30)

“Self-Determination, Statehood, and the Law of Negotiation: The Case of Palestine”

Dr. Robert P. Barnidge, Jr., is Lecturer and Coordinator of International Relations in the Department of History, Politics, and International Relations at Webster University. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Uppsala University, Koç University, and The Hague University and has been awarded academic fellowships from Brandeis University, the Society of Legal Scholars, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He has a particular interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict, international humanitarian law, the law of State responsibility, and issues related to international law and terrorism. He sits on the Legal Advisory Board of NGO Monitor, the International Advisory Board of the Banaras Law Journal and the National University of Study and Research in Law Ranchi Journal of Law and Policy, and the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Middle East and Africa. Dr. Barnidge earned his BA in Government and International Studies, summa sum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Notre Dame (1999), JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2003), LLM in Public International Law from the University of Amsterdam (2004), PhD from the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast (2007), and Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice from Reading (2009).

Michael McShane (February 24)

“Education and Opportunity”

Michael Q. McShane is Director of Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute.  A former high school teacher, he earned a Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Arkansas, an M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.A. in English from St. Louis University.

McShane’s analyses and commentary have been published widely in the media, including in the Huffington Post, National Affairs, USA Today, and The Washington Post. He has also been featured in education-specific outlets such as Teachers College Commentary, Education Week, Phi Delta Kappan, and Education Next. In addition to authoring numerous white papers, McShane has had academic work published in Education Finance and Policy and the Journal of School Choice. He is the editor of New and Better Schools (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), the author of Education and Opportunity (AEI Press, 2014), and coeditor of Teacher Quality 2.0 (Harvard Education Press, 2014) and Common Core Meets Education Reform (Teachers College Press, 2013).

Upcoming Presenters

The first three speakers for 2016 will be Michael McShane on February 24, Robert P. Barnidge on March 30, and Michael Podgursky on April 27. Details for each speaker and additional speakers will be posted soon.