New center for constitutional studies

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President Matthew Holland has officially announced that UVU will now be home to a new Center for Constitutional Studies, thanks to a $1 million donation from anonymous sources. In a time of political and economic instability both nationally and internationally, the center will be an invaluable academic resource.

Rick Griffin, J.D., Ph.D., LL.M., an associate professor with an extensive background in multidisciplinary constitutional studies, has been named director of the center. According to Griffin, the center is not a policy or partisan-driven institution, it’s an academic unit. However, student clubs, with or without political agendas, are very welcome. Griffin hopes to open up the entire student body to the area of constitutional study.

“We forget that the constitution is the fundamental law and political blueprint of our nation,” Griffin said. “We are all subject to and protected by the constitution and so it makes sense that at least some of our students should be dedicated to learning more about this important document.”

Student and faculty alike will benefit from the numerous sources of information made available by the center.  Spring semester 2011, lectures from high-profile scholars are expected with open forums for discussion of constitutional importance.

Through the center, Griffin would like to arrange some tours for students and alumni, in order to participate in and visit governmental and constitutional sites throughout the country. The permanent location of the center is currently under consideration, due to the spatial concerns on campus that many students may have observed.

The university is starting the center from scratch, but the ball is rolling.

“It’s going to be a lot of work getting it going, but I really believe we could end up with one of the best undergraduate programs in the country,” Griffin said.

Griffin has studied at the University of Mississippi, the University of Cambridge, Brigham Young University, and the University of California in Berkley. His education is comprehensive, covering everything from constitutional law, educational law, constitutional history and legal history, among others. Griffin jokes that he likes dual emphases because they allow him to “study more.”

If any student, alumni, or member of the community has questions or would like to contribute to the center, please contact Rick Griffin at [email protected].