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Janet Napolitano: Public service and politics

January 14, 2015 1:29:00
Kaltura Video

Janet Napolitano talks public service, politics and important moments in her life for the 2015 Citi Foundation lecture.


>> Good afternoon everybody and welcome. I'm Susan Collins, the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. And we are so pleased that President Mark Schlissel, Regent Kathy White and Regent Shauna Ryder Diggs and several of the university's executive officers and deans are here with us today. And we would also like to very much welcome them as well as all of you for coming. I'd like to thank as well the Ford School's Education Policy Initiative and its Co-Directors, Professor's Susan Dynarski and Brian Jacob for sponsoring today's event. Well this event is part of the Ford School's Annual City Foundation lecture series. This series enables the Ford School to bring some of the world's most prominent policy leaders and thinkers to the University of Michigan campus. And so it is truly me great honor to welcome you all here today to hear from one the nation's most distinguished public servants, President of the University of California, the Honorable Janet Napolitano. Well before our own President, Mark Schlissel introduces her more fully I just wanted to thank President Napolitano for spending the entire day with students and faculty here on campus at the Ford School. And really sharing the expertise and insights that she has drawn from just an incomparable breadth of public service experience. And so thank you so much for being so generous with your time. We are extremely grateful. I'd also like to remind the audience that if you have a question for President Napolitano please write it on one of the cards that you should have collected when you came into the entrance. Our volunteers will be collecting those cards. A team from the Ford School will be selecting questions and then they will be read by some of our students who will introduce themselves. If you're watching online, please tweet your question into us and use the hashtag policytalks. And now it is my honor to introduce University of Michigan's President, Dr. Mark Schlissel, the 14th President of the University. He most recently served as Provost, I get to actually do a real introduction but we're delighted to have him here with us. So President Schlissel most recently served as Provost of Brown University and he is the first physician to lead our university. His academic research has contributed to a detailed understanding of the genetic factors that are involved in producing antibodies and how mistakes in that process can lead to leukemia and lymphoma. President Schlissel earned his AB in biochemical sciences from Princeton. And then he went onto to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine earning both an MD and a Ph.D. in physiological chemistry. And so ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming President Mark Schlissel. [ audience applause ] >> Thanks Dean Collins for that kind introduction. It's really an honor to be here today for today's City Foundation lecture and introduce one of my Presidential colleagues, UC President Janet Napolitano. I want to acknowledge the faculty, the staff, the students and the supporters of both the Ford School and the Educational Policy Initiative for their efforts in making this series so meaningful. During my first semester as President I've met many members of the Michigan family from all over the state and across the country who've chosen to devote their lives to public service. In fact, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who holds four degrees from the University of Michigan came to welcome me at the University in my office on my first day at work. The University of Michigan is proud of its history at the most dynamic intersections between public service and politics which happens to be the topic of today's distinguished speaker. Our roots trace back to Michigan being the first University to offer degree programs in the areas of public administration and public policy. And over the decades our legacy has been strengthened by individuals who help shape our nation and society such as Sanford Weill whose generosity and vision brought this lecture series to life. And of course Michigan Alumnus, Ford School namesake and U.S. President, Gerald Ford. With its outstanding educational programs, strong network of alumni in leadership positions and deep commitment to research and action for the public good, the Ford School is perhaps the most literal manifestation of the University of Michigan's motto, Leaders and Best. Just a couple of months ago one of the school's faculty members added to this legacy, Bob Axelrod, a Professor of Political Science and Public Policy received the National Medal of Science at the White House from President Obama. Bob was cited for his work on the evolution of cooperation, something near and dear to the heart of academic leaders in particular. This is our nation's highest honor for achievement in the field of science and engineering. And the Education Policy Institute which is at the forefront of research that ranges from early childhood literacy to higher education outcomes also began at this school. Both the school and the initiative are essential components of our ambition to be pioneers on the leading edge of public impact of the analysis of complex problems and of applying the best minds to finding solutions to those problems. That brings me to today's guest of honor and featured speaker. Janet Napolitano is herself a pioneer and a leading public servant. The former Attorney General and Governor of Arizona and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security became President of the University of California system in 2013. Her experience has taken her to the frontiers of our nation as she walked, drove and rode horseback along the U.S. Border with Mexico. She's helped people in communities recover from natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and devoted new resources to protecting our nation from emerging threats like cyber-attacks. Now in her work leading a system that has 10 campuses, more than 233,000 students and more than its fair share of political intrigue, she's bringing every bit of that administrative experience to bear on some of the largest issues facing our society. She's fighting for greater state investment in public higher education in California and for greater national investment in graduate education. She's championed increased access to higher education for undocumented students and committed 5 million dollars to enhance related services, financial aid and success initiatives. And last July she launched the University of California Global Food Initiative which is examining how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 7 billion by 2025. Friends and colleagues please help me welcome University of California President Janet Napolitano. [ audience applause ] >> Thank you. Thank you President Schlissel and thank you all for a warm welcome on a very cold day. It's a privilege to deliver the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy's City Foundation lecture here at the great University of Michigan. Almost as great as the UC. The list of prior lecturers is very long and illustrious and I'm very honored to stand where they stood before me. Now I never had the pleasure of meeting President Ford. And people can joke all they want about him playing too many football games without a helmet or about his tenancy to tumble down stairwells. But President Ford served our country in the crucible of mid-1970s and he served it with honor and dignity and with courage. And in later years the man whose name graces your school and whose photos line its first floor hallways spoke about the call to serve and about the importance of courage, especially political courage. The ultimate test of leadership he said is not the polls you take, it's not the polls you take, it's the risks that you take. In the short run some risks prove overwhelming. Political courage can be self-defeating. But the greatest defeat of all he concluded would be to live without courage, for that would hardly be living at all. Now Ford spoke those words in the year 2001 when he was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award. And we all know that Profiles in Courage was the book that JFK published when he was a senator a few years before he ran for president. And I'll bet most you know that in the late stages of that incredibly close race for the presidency, John Kennedy came here to the University of Michigan. And on that trip, little more than 54 years ago, he first began to articulate the idea that would become the Peace Corp. That was October of 1960. Kennedy arrived in Ann Arbor at about 2:00 in the morning, 2:00 in the morning. And about 10,000 Michigan students were waiting for him, 10,000. Now those students, like all of you, were young and bright and energized and they were also probably pretty cold. They thought they were ready to take on the world. And what they received from the man who had become the nation's 35th President was a challenge. He stood on the steps of the Michigan Union and you can walk across State Street and see the plot that shows where he stood and faced the crowd. And he said how many of you, how many of you are willing to contribute part of your life to this country? To work as doctors overseas to travel the world for years in the Foreign Service. And then he paused. This college, this university is not maintained by its alumni, by the state, merely to help its graduates have an economic advantage in the life struggle. There is certainly a greater purpose. That greater purpose came to be called the Peace Corp. And it formed one of the foundational pillars of Kennedy's new frontier. Now I think it's probably a no brainer to come before the Ford School and cite President's Ford and Kennedy or any leader on the value and virtue of public service. Public service after all lies deep in the DNA of our country from the minute men to the greatest generation, from Peace Corp volunteers, to students today at this university, at the University of California [inaudible] at all universities around the United States. So let's take a break from the platitudes about public service. I would like instead to drill down a bit and talk about a form of public service that today is often derided. And derided may be too polite a term. Maybe it's more like ridiculed or mocked. I'm talking about the form of public service known as political service. Yeah, the P word, politics. So let me make a few points about politics and offer a few thoughts I doubt you will hear on Fox News or CNN or anywhere else that pundits gather to talk down their noses about politics and about those who are engaged in it. And for starters I will submit that politics need not be a dirty word. Aristotle chose the word politics to name his tritest on political philosophy because it concerned the matters of the pollists, a form of political community in ancient Greece we know as the city state. The pollists according to Aristotle was the most evolved form of community. It represented a conscious decision people made to live and organize themselves around shared principles, to create and participate in a public life. To serve the pollists was a high honor, a privilege. Now today, the word politics is rarely employed to connote honor. And political office is rarely equated with the privilege of serving one's own community. Especially at that national level, politics has become the practice of elevating partisanship over seeking common ground for common good. Extremes of left and right tend to dominate the airwaves. And that's because quite frankly news thrives on colorful conflict not on the enumerable compromises that must be struck in order to move the community forward. And as a result we have witnessed a separation in the public's mind between what is public service or what's sometimes called community service and what is politics. In a study conducted by the Institute of Politics at Harvard last spring, young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were asked to agree or to disagree with the following two statements. Community service is an honorable thing to do. And running for office is an honorable thing to do. Seventy percent of those polled agreed that community service is an honorable thing to do. One would have thought that would have been a higher number but 70%. Only 32% agreed that running for office is an honorable thing to do, less than one third. As the Harvard study illustrates too many people, especially young people, in America today view politics as the antithesis of public service and this division comes at our peril. Now it's easy to love public service or community service if politics is not included. At my own institution, the University of California, more than 50% of the students undertake some form of community service while they're going to school. More than 10,000 UC alumni have served in the Peace Corp, far more than any other university system. And Michigan is no slouch in this arena either. The Ginsberg Center alone helps foster a culture of public service that engages Wolverines at all levels. So, and I don't want to be misunderstood. Don't get me wrong, I do not mean to suggest that public service of this type is unimportant. Quite the contrary, the commitment to serve others is a very noble one. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, everybody can be great because everybody can serve. He also said in that same speech by the way that you don't have to know about Aristotle to serve, but I already told you about Aristotle, so too late. But it is the major collective decisions of our country, out pollists if you will that are entrusted to our political institutions from how and whom we tax. How we set priorities, how we decide whether to go to war and how we will otherwise engage with the international community of nations. And those political institutions in turn assume the presence of an elected political leadership that will have the interests of the entire community at heart. And so here then is the crux of the problem. When practicing politics is perceived as a lessor not greater form of public service, practicing politics becomes unattractive to those who like many of you here seek to engage in public policy for the public good. Thus I'm concerned that our most talented people have come to see political service as a default career and not a prestigious one. The quality of leadership in a country like ours is critical, absolutely. We are a nation of more than 300 million people drawn of a wide range of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. We possess different histories, different dreams, different beliefs. A robust democracy representative of our whole society demands incisive leadership of the absolute highest quality. Now as I mentioned before I acknowledge that part of the reluctance to run for elected office might be driven by extreme partisanship and its outcomes. Part of it might be driven by the glare of 24/7 media coverage and its relentless focus on negative conflict instead of positive results. Part of it might be driven about concerns about privacy both for yourself and for your family and for your friends. Part of it might be driven by our failure to teach young people in this country the fundamentals of civic responsibility and why political service matters. Universities in particular have an important role to play in better preparing students to be actual political leaders in the noblest sense of that term. These reasons, however, are not sufficient to justify selecting out of political service. Politics is hard work, I'll give you that. It's incremental work, I'll give you that. But in American society the decision making power and authority is held by those in political office aided and abided by a highly qualified codrai [phonetic] of civil servants. And at some point the [inaudible] is on each one of us to stand up and say this country gave me a lot and I owe it to my country to give more. Now the practice of politics by the way is not all misery. And I'll use my own story as an example. I knew absolutely no one in Arizona when I moved there after law school to clerk for a federal judge. I got my start working on a state legislative campaign passing out flyers, knocking on doors, setting up chairs at $25 fundraisers. And by the way when you're knocking on doors make sure you know where the dog is. On that campaign we lost the first race. My, the candidate won the second time around. By the way winning does beat losing, I'll give you that. In the course of doing that I became part of a team forming friendships that have lasted ever since. And I became a little bit familiar with the issues confronting Arizona and Arizonans which was then the fastest growing state in the union. When I was 39 the attorney generalship became an open seat. And after much soul searching I dove in. I'm going to pause just a moment here and give you a quick anecdote about this. I called my father to tell him I was going to quit my job to run for attorney general. Now realize I was a democrat in Arizona so that in and of itself was somewhat interesting. And I, my father, there was kind of a pause on the phone and he said Jen, he goes, he goes I want to make sure I understand this. You were a partner at a law firm and you made X. And then you left the law firm to become the U.S. Attorney in Arizona to make one half of X. And now you're going to make no money for a year while you campaign for a job that makes less than one third of X. And I said absolutely, that's my plan. And he said, you know, what gives? I thought I taught you better than that. And I said I'm not worried about money. And he goes why not? And I said because the trust fund you never told me about when I was growing up so I'd be independent, I'm ready to take it now. Yeah. Ha, ha, ha, he laughed and then hung up. A couple days later I get a check in the mail and it's made out to Janet 98, what was campaign account in the amount of $5. And it was signed an Napolitano trust fund. And he wrote on the ledger exhaustion of principle and interest. So I still have that check by the way. When you get something like that, that's a keeper. But what I found in that race was I enjoyed it. I enjoyed assembling my team. I learned how to deal with the ups and downs from the newspaper endorsement you didn't think you would get to the expected Friday afternoon scud missile from my opponent. I steeled myself to making cold calls for money and I insured we didn't waste the money that we raised. And most of all I enjoyed meeting our voters. When I was running for office I had a standard routine on Sunday mornings. After church services ended, I would pick a grocery store usually in a neighborhood with lots of independent voters. And I would go stand outside the door. And I would talk to anybody who walked in or outside the door of that grocery. And most of them would talk to me. They would voice their concerns about drugs and crime. They would ask for my thoughts about the death penalty. They would challenge me, demand to know why I was running for office. And my answer there was always simple. I was running to work for them. So you have to understand politics isn't all work and no play. Campaigning can be fun. You have to put yourself in the zone. You know, there I was writing in a golf cart parade in Sun City. I have all different kinds of ways [inaudible]. To having dinner, speaking at a dinner of mutton stew and fried bread with eight elderly Navahos up on the reservation. And I came to know my state more deeply and intimately than any briefing paper could ever communicate. And that knowledge made me, I think, a better political leader. And believe or not once elected the people who will become your contemporaries, nasty caricatures aside, will turn out to be individuals similarly dedicated to making their cities, their states and their country a better place. That was at least my experience. I worked consistently with talented, dedicated political leaders from both parties who were attorney's general, or governors or senators and my fellow cabinet secretaries. So we need to reset and reboot how we view political leadership in this country and in large, the pool of talented individuals who are willing to engage in elective politics. I want to pause a moment here and address the women in this audience. We are past the age when political party bosses would pick the candidate, where women couldn't raise money for campaigns. And in fact we now know that women when they campaign they raise just as much money as men. And importantly they win. They win in numbers similar to men when you factor in the variable in incumbency. So they don't have to rely on a party boss in most places, they can raise the money and they win. This was demonstrated in a study that Brown University in 2004. Yet women still by and large choose not to run. They might work as a campaign manager or a policy director or a spokesperson but they don't run. And if we want a robust democracy representative of our whole society, that needs to change. Because it matters enormously who occupies our positions of political leadership. And it is enormously fulfilling work to do. As an attorney general I could take on big tobacco, eliminate a huge backlog of child foster care placement cases, litigate against the national accounting firm that helped defraud thousands of senior citizens of their retirement savings. As a governor I could lead the effort for public full day kindergarten, fight for funding for our states universities, exercise my veto power, use my veto stamp liberally, and I mean that in both senses of the word, to prevent legislation that wasn't in the state's best interest in my judgment. But to exercise that type of leadership first you have to win elected office. And if you want to make those kinds of differences you have to make a decision to enter the political realm. Right here in Michigan politicians representing this state have stood up for your rights and for rights of future generations. Governor Granholm led the state during one of its most challenging periods, during the economic downturn. Representative Dingle fought for a national healthcare system for decades. Governor Romney created Michigan's first civil rights commission. All contributed part of their lives to the greater purpose of which Kennedy spoke different issues, different eras, different political parties, one common denominator. They decided to enter elective politics. So now in that spirit, in the spirit of JFK who stood on the steps of the Michigan Union on that autumn early morning, facing students just like you. Let's get a little personal. I want to see a show of hands, how many of you've had this experience? You're watching TV or reading the paper or scrolling through Twitter, trying to follow the news of the day. And as you do, how many of you begin to bemoan the quality of political leadership on display? Do you say to yourself who are those jokers? How do they come to rule America? Really? How many of you have that feeling? Raise your hand? Yeah. Why, why? Could it be the failure of our leaders to articulate complex issues? Could it be their inability to take a difficult position and stick with it? Could be an atmosphere of corruption with our without a capital C? Whatever the answer to the why question, whenever we witness poor political leadership we have a tendency to say this to ourselves. I could do better. How many of you've had that feeling? I could do that better. Raise your hand. Oh come on, be honest. How many of you've had that feeling? I could do that better. Yeah, absolutely. So my challenge to your today is a straightforward simple one. If you think you can do better, why don't you? Why don't you? Think in terms of that old Nike commercial. Just do it. Your community, your state and your country needs you now more than ever. And to quote President Ford, I hope you never lose the old faith in an America that is bolder, freer and more just with each passing generation. For America is nothing if not a work in progress. And you can help, you can help with that progress. Thank for allowing me to address you this afternoon. Go Wolverines. [ audience applause ] With the University of California we use Latin, [inaudible] let there be light. Thank you very much. [ audience applause ] And now we come to the question part of the program. >> Hello. >> I don't know if that, is that on? >> Hello, hello? Hi, my name is Promp D. Keho [assumed spelling]. I'm a master's of public policy student here and a master's of higher education student as well. And I'm an alumnus of UC Berkeley as well, so welcome to what we call warm weather in Michigan. The first question that we have from the audience are about recent events. What are your thoughts on President Obama's recent proposal for two years of free community college? >> Haven't read the fine print. And my answer is couched in that sense. I liked it as far as it went. I like the idea of shining the spotlight on higher education. I like the idea of shining the spotlight on public institutions of higher education. And so because if our country is going to thrive with countries like China out there, putting lots of money into education we're going to need to do some of that as well. What I would like to see added, so I'm viewing that as part one of a higher education. Agenda part two is important. Where are those students going to go to finish their Bachelors and get a post graduate degree, the four year universities? And in particular the four year public research universities like a Michigan, like California that experience and have experienced a lot of public disinvestment over the years. I think making the public case for community colleges is going to help raise the public perception of higher ed in general. But I don't want to create in young people an expectation that then they won't be able to go to a four year school if we don't also do something for them as well. I hope that is part deux of the proposal. >> Hi, my name's Diana Wine [assumed spelling] and I'm a second year Master of Public Policy student with an interest in international affairs. As a woman who's also interested in public service, thank you so much for being here. So the next question is about domestic politics. What factors do you think explain the rise of partisanship and extremism in U.S. politics of the last few decades? What can we do to change this? >> I think our country has seen a couple things and realized that we have had, historically had some periods of ultra-partisanship. And the question is how we work our way out of them. But I think the current one is mobilized by a few things. One is the way we do congressional districting. Means we have far too many congressional districts that are not competitive. They're not competitive in the general election. And because our voting patterns tend to be low turnout in primary, that tends to drive you to campaign to the party base as opposed to knowing that you have to reach out to either independent voters or even voters of the other party in order to win. So you find the House of Representatives suffering from that. And that problem has gotten pretty bad. I think someone did a study that showed, I think there were like fewer than a dozen of the house seats are truly competitive for general election purposes. Now those who run statewide, governors and senators, there's a slightly different dynamic there. But again particularly in the senate you see some of the same, same, same, because of the importance of the party primary. I think that's one factor. A second factor, campaign finance. I'm sorry, I respect the Supreme Court. I'm a lawyer, I've argued before the court. I'm a member of the Supreme Court Bar. I think they have really screwed up the first amendment where public campaign financing is concerned. They got it wrong. And they got it wrong because no one on the court I think fundamentally appreciates how politics is practiced. And I also find it hard to equate corporate expenditures as protected first amendment speech in this arena. One thing about me that you might find interesting or not but I'm going to say it anyway. But when I ran for governor I was publically financed because between the time I ran for AG where I had to make cold calls for money and do all that and the time I ran for governor, Arizona enacted a clean elections law. And the way it worked was if you got so many $5 contributions and it had to be geographically distributed throughout the state then you qualified for clean election financing. And you got X amount for the primary and then X amount for the general. If your opponents ran the traditional way and were raising their own money and they broke a cap, they broke a certain number then you got matched dollar for dollar in what they were raising. And the match of course obviously is a key factor. It was a, so when I ran for governor the first time, I ran again a really nice guy. In the end we actually liked each other because we'd been in so many debates and things and found out we actually liked each other. But his first thing when he came out of the primary he had a big dinner with President Bush as the speaker at, you know, $500 tickets or $1,000 tickets, something like that. But he was at the cap because he was running the old fashion way. So I called him up and I said Matt, can I sell tickets to your dinner? Because I would get every ticket, so I was getting [inaudible] and I didn't have to pay for the dinner, right, so it was total money for me. Which he still is bitter about that part. I may be the only democrat that President Bush raised money for. That may actually happen. That whole system has been thrown out obviously because of the Supreme Court's prudence in campaign finance. And I think that's led to partisanship. And I think the third thing may be just, you know, the issues our nation, we're, you know, we are, our nation needs to be addressing economic inequality. And things like and energy policy that makes sense. And how do we deal with the rise Jihadist extremism. I mean, there are lots of big complicated problems. And they're hard to explain and deal with on the electoral stomp. And our candidates have been able to resort to platitudes as opposed to having a conversation with voters that makes sense that has an appreciation of the issues. And then they're stuck with those platitudes when they get elected because that's what they said they would do. And so the ability to compromise once they have new or additional information or additional appreciation of the complexity of an issue, that has gone away. So those are three things I would identify. >> It's me again. So universities are under enormous pressure both public and private to reduce costs and even are challenged to compete with online education in terms of cost. Part of that could you then tell us what do you see as the value of physical brick and mortar university? >> You know, I think that's right. Universities are being challenged in a lot of different ways. And everybody wants to bring down the costs of higher education granted. And large institutions will always have some costs that are unnecessary, places where there's waste, places where things could be streamlined. And we owe it to the institutions we run, and I'm sure President Schlissel's doing the same thing, is to help root those things out. And make administrative changes that save money. However, however, let's not excuse the lack of public investment in higher education on the fact that you need classrooms and faculty and laboratories and studios and other things to give students what I think is in involved in this model of higher education. You know, of the public research university where you are working with a faculty that is not only transmitting knowledge but helping to create knowledge. You cannot cut your way to excellence in that kind of an atmosphere. So I'm going to DC tomorrow and I keep, I keep making up more. But I want to make, I can pause on online education. So because online came in and the theory was mooks will solve everything. And it turns out, no, not so much. However, I do think technology and online hybrid type courses make sense as tools in toolbox on how we actually educate in the. I mean, we would be, we have new technology now. Why shouldn't we figure out how best to use it? But it needs to be integrated within the overall context of what we believe comprises an education at a university. >> Thank you. So following on this theme of education, one of our audience members just told us, just 9% of those who grow up in poor families get a college degree while 54% from rich families do. What can universities do to reduce this enormous gap? >> Yeah, you know, and when you look at, you know, the creation of the public university, the moral act, the land grant university, part of it was designed to make sure that as the United States expanded westward students would have access to universities without having to go to a private school in Massachusetts. And, you know, that model has worked well. But the fact of the matter is that those numbers I believe are accurate numbers. We need to work obviously in the K12 world so that students who go to schools that are in poor areas are not, you know, just by virtue of that prohibited from going a Michigan or a Cal, UCLA. So that's one area. The second thing we need to do is create pipeline and pipeline programs in the high schools to our public universities. And the third thing we need to do is make sure our financial aid programs are robust. So at the University of California, I don't know how it works here. At the University of California if you are a California resident and that includes undocumented students and if you come from a family that makes than $80,000 a year, tuition is free at the University of California. And then there's a middle class scholarship that's coming into play, right. That's a good program. Fifty five percent of the students at the University of California do not pay tuition. That's an engine of social mobility. We want to keep that up but we can't provide them the quality of education their predecessors got and do that without some more money getting into the system. And the more money either has to come from the state or it needs to come from tuition from those who are paying tuition. And we now need to keep in front of us the middle class. Because in California the cost of living where our campuses are, the cost of living are high and/or if you come from a family where maybe it's over 80 but not that much over 80. So we're working to think about that right now as we move forward. >> Thank you. As we talk about getting students into higher education, when students are on campus, an audience member was wondering what are the limits of free speech on college campuses especially regarding [inaudible], anti-Semitism and political extremism? >> Well I think college campuses are really in way they are the epitome of public areas for free speech even of the most controversial objectionable type. And we have to recognize that and appreciate that. People need to be safe. So how speech is conducted and where speech turns into something that renders the community unsafe as a violent activity going on, that's a different issue. But by and large these campuses are for the exchange of ideas regardless of how ill founded and objectionable. And students and faculty, staff, have to understand and appreciate that free speech aspect of the university as part of the deal. It's part of the deal of going to a university. We respect those free speech rights. [ audience applause ] >> So as former Secretary for Homeland Security, a lot of audience members are wondering especially given the recent events in Paris, how does the U.S. best address thoughts of terrorism and also how do we prevent atrocities like the ones that have taken place in France? >> Yeah, well first of all I think, you know, there was, the headline after the attack of 911 there was a headline in one French newspaper, you know, we are all Americans now. And I think the reverse is true given the events of last week. France has a related but different a little bit issue in a way from a security standpoint than the United States where Jihadist activity is concerned. They have probably numerically a lot more Jihadists. And there are whole elements of the suburbs around Paris that have been discussed as hot beds for violent extremist activity. And so I'm sure there'll be a lot of, you know, going back and looking at what happened that enabled the attacks of last week to occur. And why there wasn't greater eyesight on these individuals. But it's awfully difficult to keep eyesight on everybody that has, you know, gone to Syria or Iraq or Yemen and returned. In the United States we have some knowledge of those who have gone into that area of the world and returned. Gone to join the fight and returned. And we also are working very closely with the Muslim community which in a way itself is harmed by this activity because of the kind of the spillover into all Muslims. Whereas we know this is a very, very small extremist group of set of individuals. We need to do more by way of outreaching, communication and community building. Those all sound like platitudes. They really help. If you've really done good engagement and you know people and they know you and you've gone to each other's celebrations and you've gone to each other's sorrows and you've exchanged things. And the community there's trust that develops and trust in a crisis situation is unbelievably helpful. So going to Ferguson, what did we see after Ferguson? You know, the community erupted. Clearly issues had been festering for a long time. And but that kind of community policing which goes on in a lot of communities in the United States had not been undertaken in that community. And the result was the division and the violence that we saw there that has spread into other, some other communities across the United States. But not nearly as many or not nearly some you might have expected. Why? Because there had been a lot of, a lot of investment made in that community engagement and outreach. It's not a platitude to do it. It takes time to do it. It takes resource of time to do it but it can be done. >> Thank you. Given your professional experience both in California and Arizona and as secretary in the federal government, immigration has been a lot, it's been in the news a lot lately particularly around congresses inaction of it. Audience members are wondering do you think President Obama should have pursued a comprehensive immigration reform instead of healthcare in his first term. And also did his recent actions of executive action go far enough or what are your thoughts on that as well? >> Yeah, I want to be careful now. I'm speaking as Janet Napolitano not as, I'm not representing in a official opinion of the Board of Regents of the University of California. But as an individual, no I think the second guessing on, you know, going after healthcare is untord [phonetic]. You know, healthcare and the ability to get healthcare is important to everybody, enormously difficult, complicated, etc., etc. And it just turned out, it occupied all the space. And that's, that's just the way it was. In terms of the EOs, the executive the recent executive orders, I know the President was patient and, you know, waited 550 some odd days from when he got a senate bill that was pretty much a bill he was not only supportive of but willing to sign. It was the product of a lot of work. I know I was involved in it. A lot of compromise, I know I was involved in some of that. But it got done. And the house refused to even hear it. And at that point, you know, it was very clear that they were sending signals at the election. It was going to be the same situation, same old, same old. And the President said enough, no more. I'm going to use the authority I have under law to make some decisions about immigration enforcement. And he issued the executive orders. That, the way he did it, having worked and drafted DACA, which is deferred action for childhood arrivals. So I'm very familiar with the law in this arena. I think he went about as far as he should go. Could he go further? Oh yeah, you could always say, you know what, I'm just going to rewrite the whole immigration code and forget congress. But the question is not only could be should because recognize the next executive could say well if President Obama did this so I'm going to do that. So he's also aware of, we all should be aware of kind of the presidential nature of this. I think he went about as far as he should go in this arena. And now the question is implementation. And now the question is will we have a congress that actually takes up a difficult complicated issue with the notion that they want to help solve it not just pick a fight. I have no strong feelings in this [inaudible]. >> As Secretary of Homeland Security, did you know about the NSAs wiretapping program? And did you think that the program was actually effective in stopping terrorist attacks? >> You know, I, you know, without going into what, what intel I receive or didn't receive as a secretary, I think that the president was serious about really looking at privacy issues. And setting up a process by which those are reviewed within the government. I think that's a very increasingly, you know, important thing to do. Technology changes and it changes so rapidly and the capacity of intelligence gathering agencies changes. There needs to be a way for the president to have greater visibility into the, that gathering process and how the intel is being used. So I don't know where that, that is standing now in terms of the presidential review of those things from a privacy perspective. But in my judgment it's very, very important that the president, whomever or she is has some independent or quasi-independent group of people working and advising the White House on the intel gathering machinery. >> As the follow up to that, if you were still Secretary of DHS, how would you balance the need for secrecy versus a need for disclosure of potentially illegal government surveillance as highlighted by Edward Snowden and other individuals in the news? >> You know, these are, these are as you might imagine, there's no black or white answer on some of these. They're very situationally directed. And you have to look at what was the surveillance? And then you have to look at what was obtained? You have to look at what was the danger that was sought to be or the risk that was sought to be mitigated? And those things are changing all the time. So and what should be disclosed or not, I do think, like I said before, the president needs greater capacity within the White House structure to have transparency and insight into the intel gathering process. I also believe the senate through its oversight responsibility needs to have insight as well. What you disclose in the popular press, I think by nature of what you're dealing with by and large will be very and should be very limited. Why is that? Because you're mitigating risk, you're protecting security, you're exchanging information that may have been gathered by another country that you don't, that, you may possess but it's not your information. So there are a lot of things that go into it. Now in terms of Snowden, I'm on record. I would not give him clemency. I don't think he was entitled by himself to decide what information should be disclosed and what not. And there is a real whistleblower procedure in the United States. Others use it. It exists there for a reason. He should have used what he was allowed to do under the law. So I, I'm not a Snowden sympathizer. Sorry to those of you who are, but I think he broke the law. [ audience applause ] >> So now moving back to your current role, as a President of a large university system, what are your thoughts on the role of athletic teams especially football in higher education? >> Well I'm, I'm, first of all, oh congratulations on your new football coach. He had a very good record with the 49ers and I think he'll do a great job for you. And I'm, I'm, I think he'll probably help the Ann Arbor real estate market, right [inaudible]. He'll probably buy a pretty nice house. I, I think if you got a group of university presidents together, we would all just go what the heck? You know, there's just, there's an arms race going on out there. And have we, you know, what do we do about it? What can we do about it? And I think my first level of concern quite frankly is how are we treating the student athletes? You know, one of the most embarrassing stores we had at UC last year was the graduation rate of the Berkley football team. It was one of the lowest in the NCAA. And it's just not acceptable. And we put a lot in and we got a new coach and a new athletic director at Berkley. That problem is going to, is being addressed. And fix how we got there is another set of issues. And because I don't want that process repeated. So, how we treat those student athletes when we're, when they're practicing so many hours a week and doing this and that and traveling, etc. etc. And when I say the student athletes, I'm talking about football and basketball. The revenue producing teams which is I think where the most sensitivity arises. We need to make sure that those young men graduate with, graduate with degrees they can use so that they can, you know, be like other students at the university. And I've had a terrific time playing on a great football team at the same time. So let's, let's, let's start with the academics of the students themselves. That may mean looking at admissions of student athletes and who we are admitting. And are they really prepared to undertake the curriculum at a school like Michigan or CAL or UCLA. We're working on those issues. I'm sure you are as well. And one of the things that our regents will be voting on this coming week is the incorporation of academic performance criteria into the contracts of all athletic coaches and the athletic directors within the University of California. So there's an expressed recognition upfront that these are and let's not minimize, these are schools. These are students who have a particular talent. We need to foster both of those things and put it in the contracts. Our regents will vote on that next week. >> As you were doing your introduction, you passed a policy or where 5 million dollars were given to undocumented students. What do you see as part of their aid to attend UC? What do you see as the follow up steps to these kinds of policies, to support undocumented students? >> Yeah, a lot of it has, has to do with providing places on campus where not only can they be, I mean there are issues. I mean, if you're undocumented student you typically are low income and first generation meaning that no, no, neither parent has ever gone to college. So, you know, a place where you can go with students, get additional support, tutoring, counseling, what have you. Maybe help with your immigration situation. So each campus has its own plan for how to spend the grant it got under the, the 5million dollar program. And we hope in the spring to host the first national conference on undocumented students because at UC we probably have clearly more than 2,000 undergraduates who are undocumented. >> How can we as a nation promote more women in leadership roles? >> I want more women to run, run. I think that, that's what I said in my remarks. Look, you can't win if you don't run. It's kind of a thing, you know, you got to, you got to be in the race. I think making sure women feel prepared. Women always want to be, feel, be more prepared than guys do. This is something I've noticed. I'm just making broad generalizations now so, you know, give me a break. But, you know, women tend to, you know, want to make sure they've taken the last possible class and they've done the last possible thing and what have you. As just saying look, whose in that job right now? Can I do a better job? Yeah, I can do a better job. Yeah, okay, you know. And then really think through seriously what it takes to run a political campaign and get some help with that. To lead in another context, I think getting leadership experience in any possible way you can. And when you're starting on a new job, you know, be the one who volunteers to take on a particular project, to form a team, to look at this or that. Those experiences are invaluable in terms of developing your own style, how you lead an organization. And then listen and speak with women who have been in leadership positions. And learn from them because there are lessons from all of us. All of us have made mistakes. And we're still standing and we're still doing things. So how do you deal with that? But I think, you know, kind of having, having some hutzpah and raising your hand and taking that leadership initiative will pay off in innumerable ways. >> In your fellow remarks at DHS you warned about cyber-attacks. Is government and private sector falling behind the hackers? And as a leader of the UC system are large public institutions like the UC, should cyber security be a concern for them? >> Yeah, I think it should be. I think it should be a concern of the United States. I actually engaged several talks as the Secretary about the need for more attention on cyber. The need for a legislation that would clarify the roles within the federal government, you know, who had what responsibility? What was the NSA? What was the FBI? What was DHS by way of example? I thought that the owners and operators of critical infrastructure, our power grids, our water supply, key financial institutions needed to be in the cyber discussion in the cyber world. And have incentives and consequences on cyber security to protect consumers, to protect the community. And universities need to do a better job. You know, we posses all kinds of stuff. You know, student records, you know, your own personal records, we got that. And we run health centers. We have health information. All this sort of stuff that could be attacked and misused. And so tightening up our own systems, doing as much as we can. And then we should be educating the next, people right now who are cyber security professionals for good. I call it hackers for good, right. Not every hacker, most of them don't, are not criminal. But we need to have a greater number of people involved in cyber security who can then help us make sure we are as secure as we can be in the cyber world which is of course a very vulnerable one. So yeah, a lot of work to be done in that arena. >> Is supporting the arts good public policy for supportive creative innovation in society? >> Absolutely. I'm a huge art supporter by the way. And I think we ought to do more in the arts. So, I actually thought of being a music major in college. So that's, you know, I love arts on all forms and I think they are underappreciated. I think they're wonderful investments. And I think no matter what field you're in you ought to have some, something in the arts that you really like and enjoy and we need to them accessible and affordable. So if that's the question from somebody in here who's in that class on public policy in the arts, that's in the whatever, go for it. Yes. >> On college campuses non-black students, faculty and staff are completely separated from the [inaudible] danger of being black in the U.S. What's universities role to make its student body is aware of the realities of racism towards blacks in the U.S.? >> That's kind of, I don't quite know that I appreciate what the question is getting at. But I do think as an, excuse me, as an educational institution if we're really looking at some of the fundamental things that underlie our society we have to acknowledge that we have not solved the issue of race where African Americans, particularly where African Americans are concerned. And this seems to, you know, it seems to be kind of quiet for a while and then we'll have a Ferguson or an episode that raises its appearance in the public perception. And then it goes away. I think, you know, it is time for the United States to acknowledge this is continued problem for all of us as we're all Americans. How and why is it that communities are not relating better? Opportunities are not the same. They are the same in law but not the same in reality. I mean, there is just so much work that needs to be done. One thing I am concerned about are just the numbers African American who attend UC. That number as a percentage of student body hasn't really moved in 20 years. And it's too low. And we're banned from using Affirmative Action. So what do you do? And how do you try to move that needle? And how to encourage more African Americans to come when it's kind of a chicken and the egg issue when there's so few, they feel like they may be uncomfortable on campus. These are things we're struggling with. I think UM might be struggling with them as well. And I think we start off first with really looking at the pipeline of students coming in and the pipeline for faculty and faculty diversity. So one thing we have then I put some extra money in last year is the President's Post Doc Fellowship Program where it is, it recruits from historically black colleges and universities. And those post docs more and more are coming into tenure track positions in the university, latter rank positions. And they're in all academic disciplines. So the arts, humanities, social sciences, the STEM fields. I think programs like that that help diversify the faculty also have the benefit of helping underrepresented minority students feel like they belong on campus too. This campus is for them too. And go ahead and matriculate here. >> So in talking also about core values and opportunities of being American, one audience member said that that, I fear for our country and that I believe we no longer value or understand the common good. Do you agree? How do you think we can reinstall this fundamental attitude? >> You know, I think they're, no I disagree, I disagree. I just think we don't talk about it that way. And I think, you know, as I said in my prepared remarks, the news thrives on conflict. They're not looking for the common good or the common vocabulary. That's not, you know, whatever. But I think it's there. I think people like yourselves and myself, we ought to talk about it more. And we ought to be searching for common ground more. We don't have a good illustration of that in today's congress. We ought to be challenging. I mean, every candidate for political office in the federal level ought to be challenged in a public debate specifically to say how do you intend to work within your caucus and how do you intend to work across the aisle to find common, the common good? And be specific. And be specific. I don't think many of our candidates have that challenge put to them. But I think it's a worthy, it's a worthy question that should be asked. And it should continue to be asked. And because, you know, it is very easy in this day and age to say we don't have common ground or we don't have a common vision of the common good. This remains the country in the world where most people want to come. You know, why do we have so much immigration, legal and illegal to the United States? Because it's still the best place with the most opportunity for your children, for yourself and for your children. That is a common good. That feeling of freedom and opportunity, you are not judged by your parents, you are judged ultimately by you, yourself. So let's work to keep that in the public eye and challenge people when they're campaigning, when they're really paying attention. Not when they're in but when they're campaigning exactly how they intend to do it. >> So this is the last question for today. Is it more challenging to be a [inaudible] secretary or a university [inaudible] president? >> Or a governor. They all have challenges. And a lot of you at the, are here at the public, the Ford School Public Policy or looking at public policy. These are large complicated institutions, they're spread out geographically. There's lots of kind of institutional politics, kind of the interior politics as well as metapolitics. You're never going to run a large complex institution and keep everybody happy. You know, as pleasant as you intend to be and as perfect as you are in all ways and it's not going to happen. And so you have to give up that expectation. And the challenges in each job are different. When you're the governor, you are the leader of the state. You're the president of the state in some ways. And everybody knows who you are. You're in the grocery store and people will come up to you and talk and you want them to do that. You work for them. And you're working on great issues like education debt, hopefully will not be totally undone by your successor. Secretary of Homeland Security, there are many who think that's the toughest job in Washington DC because it's a new agency, it's spread all over the district and Maryland and Virginia. It's still a baby. It was less than 10 years old when I took over as the Secretary. So creating kind of an institutional presence and culture very difficult. And you're doing it at the same time as you're dealing with every conceivable kind of problem and disaster you can possibly imagine. From the Jihadist issues we were discussing earlier to cyber, immigration is very complex and frustrating issue, at least in the congress, to natural disasters. So FEMA is part of the department. There were some 365 federally declared major disasters during my 4-1/2 years as Secretary. So you're always on call for a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, a fire. You know, everything from Hurricane Sandy to coordinating the federal response to the BP oil spill. So that is to say that that job requires someone who can be very flexible, be very good at coordinating a lot of different things simultaneously and can handle a lot of different types of crises that all happen at the same time. It is the 24/7 job in Washington. And it was fascinating. I really liked that job but physically it was a very, very tough, tough job. University President, what a great job. I mean, it's tough and I've got this budget issue. And the governor and I will work very hard to see if we can do something that's positive. I'm going to work with the legislature in California to do something that's positive. Because the University of California is one of the real ingredients of secret sauce that's made California thrive. And it would be wrong to let it, to let it go backwards and not to support it and move it forwards. So, so you've got those, you've got the different campuses. You have some really tough issues. Like what is the degree of free speech on a college campus? I tend to take a very expansive view of free speech. But there's some risk involved with that in this day and age. We had a tragic mass shooting at Santa Barbara, six students were killed. So being the person to help lead again a very large [inaudible] organization of all these things. But the pleasure of it and this is what I want to say and I'll close with this. And you all have been a great audience. You know, you talk about these jobs and the tendency to say it's so hard. You know, I think President Bush one time said oh this president, it's a hard job. Well yeah. But it's hard because you have a lot of, you have a lot to do and a lot you can do. And part of what you're getting your education for is to start preparing yourself to take that on. And one of the ways that we need you to do that is being willing to run for office yourself ultimately. You may not do that your whole career. I haven't done it my whole career. But some of it in that arena is so very, very important. And when you think about the things you get to do and the lives you get to touch and what you can kind of count up on your ledger on the end of the day, the month, the year, the career, that's where public service really, really shines. And so yeah, they can be hard jobs and frustrating and difficult and you name it. And, you know, nobody likes reading a newspaper story that's not very nice about them. But hey, get over it, move on. Because in the end you do that to give back and to give back a lot. And when you're talented and smart and you have the benefit of one of the best educations in the country, giving back means an awful lot. Thank you. [ Audience Applause ] >> Well thank you very much President Napolitano for sharing your insights with us on such a wide range of topics and for your call to action and your positive framing. It's nice to hear some very positive framing on some of these very difficult issues. I'd like to thank again President Schlissel as well as Regents Diggs and White. I'd also like to thank all of you for joining us here. And for all of your wide ranging questions. I know we didn't get to all of them but I invite you to continue the conversation with President Napolitano. We have a reception just outside in the lobby. Please stay and join us. And now just a final thank you to our special guest. [ Audience Applause ]