The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture in Representative Government is sponsored and administered by the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center of the University of Oklahoma. The Lecture is delivered in odd-numbered years to avoid conflict with debate surrounding the congressional elections. Each Rothbaum lecturer is invited to give a series of three related lectures during a period of one week. The lectures are free and open to the public. These three lectures, suitably revised and extended, are then published as a book by the University of Oklahoma Press.
Julian J. Rothbaum (1913-2003)
The Rothbaum Lecture is named in honor of Mr. Julian J. Rothbaum of Tulsa, Oklahoma – a leader in Oklahoma civic affairs, an important supporter of the University of Oklahoma, and a lifelong friend of Speaker Carl Albert. Mr. Rothbaum attended the University of Oklahoma from 1932 to 1936 and was president of the student body during his senior year. In 1938, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He served a four-year tour in the Army during World War II. In 1946 he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to serve as the first director of the newly created Tulsa District of the Federal Housing Administration and was the youngest FHA director in the United States at that time. In the early 1950s, he owned and operated the Julian J. Rothbaum Mortgage Banking Company, and he served as president of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association in 1953. He later became associated with Francis Oil & Gas, Inc. of Tulsa, and eventually served as chairman of the board from 1966 until his death on September 26, 2003.
Mr. Rothbaum actively supported education in the state of Oklahoma throughout his life. He established student awards in honor of Carl Albert at The University of Oklahoma and McAlester (Okla.) High School as well as the Carl Albert Prize at St. Peters College, Oxford University.
In addition, Mr. Rothbaum sponsored awards in music and in petroleum land management for outstanding students at the University of Oklahoma and, with his wife Irene, endowed a Presidential Professorship of Excellence in the College of Fine Arts. After his wife's death in 1996, Mr. Rothbaum honored her by endowing the Irene Rothbaum Award for the Outstanding Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1998 he established at the OU College of Law an annual award in honor of his son, Joel Jankowsky, to recognize the graduating student who exemplifies the highest standard of excellence in leadership, scholarship, and selfless service to others. In 2003, Mr. Rothbaum established the Irene and Julian Rothbaum Professor of History endowed chair.
Mr. Rothbaum served two terms on the Board of Regents of The University of Oklahoma. He was also a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1986. He was the Special Advisor on Higher Education to Governor David Walters in the early 1990s.
In honor of this record of service, The University of Oklahoma awarded him the Distinguished Service Citation in 1974 and an honorary doctorate in 1993.
The Rothbaum Lecture series was endowed in 1983 by Mr. Rothbaum’s wife Irene and their son, Joel Jankowsky, who is a senior executive partner of the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C.
The Rothbaum Lecture has as its general theme the role of representative institutions in the United States. In addition, the lecture addresses two principles that are of major significance to Mr. Rothbaum: the importance of the relationship between education and public service in a representative democracy and the importance of participation by private citizens in public affairs.
Pictured, left to right: 2011 Rothbaum Lecturer Steven S. Smith, Carl Albert Center Director and Curator Cindy Simon Rosenthal, Rothbaum family member Joel Jankowsky, and OU President David L. Boren.
The commitment to the relationship between education and public service has been guided by Mr. Rothbaum's conviction that the success of representative institutions and the future of representative government depend upon human enlightenment in general and civic education in particular. Widespread education not only creates the conditions within which broad-based participation in political affairs is possible, but also enhances the quality of that participation.
Because participation in political affairs is not restricted to public officials, a second major commitment is the importance of the participation by private citizens in public affairs. Alexis de Tocqueville, in the last century, wrote that the strength of American democracy lay in the willingness of average citizens to involve themselves in the affairs of the community. Mr. Rothbaum's commitment to this notion has been illustrated by his own service to his country, his state, and his community.
The Rothbaum Lecture, embodying these principles, is an event of national significance. Rothbaum lecturers are sought from among the most able and discerning observers of American life. The published volumes that arise from this lecture form an invaluable repository of analysis and reflection upon the American condition. Thus, the Rothbaum Lecture performs an important national service and, in so doing, addresses squarely the concerns of the man in whose honor it is named.
Thomas E. Patterson ~ 2013
The Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Lecture Title: Feeding the Fire: The Media’s Role in Party Polarization.
Steven S. Smith ~ 2011
The Kate M. Gregg Distinguished Professor of Social Science; Professor of Political Science; and Director of the Murray Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, Washington University.
Lecture Title: The United States Senate: A Distinctive Institution with Distinctive Problems.
Jack N. Rakove ~ 2009
The William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, Stanford University.
Lecture Title: James Madison: A Politician Thinking.
Jennifer Hochschild ~ 2007
The Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government, Harvard University.
Lecture Title: Facts, Politics, and Democracy.
Morris P. Fiorina ~ 2005
Wendt Family Professor of Political Science, Stanford University.
Lecture Title: The Great Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in Contemporary America.
Book (2009): Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics.
Barbara Sinclair ~ 2003
The Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Lecture Title: Partisanship, Institutional Transformation, and PR Politics: The Shaping of the Congressional Policy-Making Process.
Book (2006): Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making.
Matthew Holden, Jr. ~ 2001
The Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia.
Lecture Title: Public Administration and Political Power.
Theda Skocpol ~ 1999
The Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University.
Lecture Title: Civic Engagement in America.
Book (2004): Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life.
Seymour Martin Lipset ~ 1997
Hazel Professor of Public Policy at the Institute of Public Policy, George Mason University, and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Lecture Title: The Development of Democracy.
Book (2004): The Democratic Century.
Charles O. Jones ~ 1995
Hawkins Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Lecture Title: A Presidency at Risk?
Book (1999): Clinton and Congress: 1993-1996: Risk, Restoration, and Reelection (out of print).
Richard F. Fenno, Jr. ~ 1993
The Kenan Professor of Political Science, University of Rochester.
Lecture Title: Senators and Citizens: A View from the Campaign Trail.
Book (1996): Senators on the Campaign Trail: The Politics of Representation (out of print).
Theodore J. Lowi ~ 1991
The John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions, Cornell University.
Lecture Title: The End of the Republican Era.
Book (1995): The End of the Republican Era.
Samuel P. Huntington ~ 1989
Director, John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Harvard University.
Lecture Title: The Third Wave: Democratization in Today's World.
Book (1991): The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century.
James MacGregor Burns ~ 1987
Professor of Political Science, Williams College.
Lecture Title: Majority Rule and Individual Rights.
Book (1990): Cobblestone Leadership: Majority Rule, Minority Power(out of print).
Barber B. Conable, Jr. ~ 1985
Former member of Congress and former president of The World Bank.
Lecture Title: The Congress and the Income Tax.
Book (1989): Congress and the Income Tax (out of print).
John Brademas ~ 1983
Former majority whip of U.S. House and president emeritus of New York University.
Lecture Title: Politics, Education and the National Interest
Book (1987): The Politics of Education: Conflict and Consensus on Capitol Hill.
(All books are published by The University of Oklahoma Press.)
The Rothbaum Lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact LaDonna Sullivan at the Carl Albert Center. The Rothbaum Lecture is part of the Carl Albert Center’s public outreach program. Accommodations on the basis of disability are available by contacting the Carl Albert Center.