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'Old College Try' Brings Cheney to Chapman

Education: University President Doti works his connections to invite the nation's second lady as guest speaker.

February 21, 2002|JEFF GOTTLIEB | TIMES STAFF WRITER

When Chapman University President James L. Doti heard that Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife were paying a visit to Orange County this month, he immediately got on the phone to invite the nation's second lady to the campus in Orange.

He reminded Lynne Cheney's aides that she had visited the university 10 years earlier during her tenure as the controversial head of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

It worked: On Wednesday, 250 of Chapman's trustees, major donors, faculty and students got a chance to hear Cheney, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, express her views on how history is taught. Students, Cheney said, need to know the basic facts of history before they are introduced to different views.

She said that she had read books assigned in undergraduate history and education courses and found some "very surprising ideas."

According to one book, she said, the Union victory in the Civil War may have meant freedom for slaves, but it also concluded that "working-class Americans of every race were subsequently enslaved by capitalism."

FOR THE RECORD
Los Angeles Times Friday February 22, 2002 Orange County Edition Main News Part A Page 2 A2 Desk 2 inches; 39 words Type of Material: Correction
Lynne Cheney Interview--A story in Thursday's California section about Lynne V. Cheney incorrectly listed the television station on which her interview by Chapman University's president James L. Doti will appear. The program, "Dialogue with Jim Doti" runs weekly on KOCE.

"My concern is that in our high schools and colleges and universities, we are no longer conveying knowledge of the great events and figures of the past," she said in the campus' Waltmar Theatre.

About 100 audience members got a chance to lunch with Cheney, a coup of sorts for Doti, who pointed out to her aides the university's tie to George Argyros, a major GOP fund-raiser and chairman of Chapman's Board of Trustees for 26 years who is now U.S. ambassador to Spain.

"People who donate to the university do it because of the things we do," Doti said in an interview Wednesday.

"It's important just as we get so much from these people, we have to give back and show that a lively intellectual life extends beyond the classroom."

After Cheney spoke for 20 minutes and answered students' questions, she was interviewed by the university president for his half-hour weekly TV show, "Dialogue with Doti," which runs on KDOC. The show will air in April.

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