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For the second consecutive year, Lafayette professor John Kincaid has been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct a six-week summer institute on the theory and practice of the United States Constitution for 18 foreign university educators.

Kincaid is the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service. He is also director of Lafayette’s Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government, which will host the institute, entitled “The U.S. Constitution: Origins, Evolution, and Contemporary Issues,” from June 28-Aug. 8. It will be funded by a $182,000 Fulbright grant.

Kincaid has conducted institutes at the Meyner Center in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2001, all of them receiving high evaluations from participants. All of last year’s 18 summer institute students said they would recommend it to colleagues in their countries.

Participants in this year’s summer institute will gain practical insights into the central role of the U.S. Constitution in American life and history by focusing on America’s ongoing debates over the meaning and role of the federal Constitution and the impacts of changing conceptions of constitutionalism on American democracy, republicanism, federalism, liberty, rights, pluralism, separation of powers, checks and balances, economic prosperity, social welfare, and social values.

For instruction, Kincaid will be joined by top scholars from Lafayette and institutions around the country. Seminars will be held in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, which contains cutting-edge instructional technology, computer facilities, and videoconferencing capabilities.

During their first four weeks at Lafayette, the university professors will learn how generations of Americans have shaped and been shaped by their Constitution. They will also visit relevant historic sites in Philadelphia. The participants will explore contemporary scholarly approaches to American constitutionalism, discuss classic and primary works of American constitutionalism, and develop methods to apply the literature and ideas to their teaching and research.

Experiences in Easton will include: meetings with Mayor Thomas Goldsmith, Northampton County Executive Glenn Reibmann, and County President Judge Robert Freedberg; sitting in on a city council meeting; touring the Northampton County prison; attending Heritage Day July 8; visiting the Crayola Factory and National Canal Museum; using Lafayette’s Kirby Sports Center; and attending a show at the State Theatre.

Over the last two weeks, participants will encounter today’s Constitution from a more multicultural perspective, especially Native American and Latino, through site visits and meetings with public officials, civic leaders, and others in Colorado and New Mexico. The study tour will end with three days in Washington, D.C.

The visiting educators will reside in Keefe Hall, which also will house 30 U.S. high school teachers from around the United States who will be at Lafayette during the last three weeks of the Fulbright residency, attending a National Endowment for the Humanities institute on state constitutions at the Meyner Center. The groups will share in extra-curricular and social activities, such as dialogue on the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, U.S. responses, and world reactions.

The Meyner Center’s programs provide opportunities to enrich the courses Kincaid teaches for Lafayette students, he says. Curriculum ideas from the high school faculty institute, for example, will be helpful in teaching his course on state and local governments, which includes components on state constitutions, he notes.

These experiences with international visitors also will enhance Kincaid’s classroom instruction. “One of the keys is a better ability to put American government and politics in a comparative perspective by learning from people from other countries,” he says.

In addition to a summer institute, Kincaid directed an education program on federalism last year for Marina Spiliotopoulou, Counsel of the Republic in the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus. Emphasizing law and law enforcement in the United States, the program was administered through AMIDEAST in Washington, D.C., and was a component of the U.S. Fulbright Cyprus-America Scholarship Program, an international training project funded by the U.S. State Department.

Kincaid joined the Lafayette faculty in 1994. He is co-editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism, which is devoted to the increase and diffusion of knowledge about federalism and intergovernmental relations. He is also editor of a 50-book series on the Governments and Politics of the American States being published by the University of Nebraska Press; elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration; member of the editorial board of the State Constitutional Law Bulletin; 1991 recipient of the Donald Stone Distinguished Scholar Award from the Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management of the American Society of Public Administration; coeditor of Competition Among States and Local Governments: Efficiency and Equity in American Federalism (1991); editor of Political Culture, Public Policy and the American States (1982); and author of various works on federalism and intergovernmental relations.

Kincaid was named Distinguished Federalism Scholar for 2001 by the American Political Science Association, recognizing his outstanding scholarly contributions to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations. The association is the major professional society for the study of politics, government, and public policy in the United States and around the world.

Kincaid was executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR), Washington, D.C., from 1988-94, following two years as director of research at the commission. In 1994-95 he was a Kestenbaum Fellow there. ACIR was established in 1959 by the 86th Congress as a permanent, bipartisan body of 26 members, to give continuing study to the relationship among local, state, and national levels of government.

Kincaid holds a Ph.D. in political science from Temple University. He was associate professor of political science at the University of North Texas from 1979-94 and has also taught at Arizona State University, Seton Hall University, and St. Peter’s College. He has lectured and consulted on issues of constitutionalism, federalism, intergovernmental relations, and regional and local governance in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

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