MTSU, Vandy co-host political corruption conferenc...

MTSU, Vandy co-host political corruption conference

MTSU and Vanderbilt University will present a conference on “Corruption in Mexico, Russia and the United States” Oct. 13-14, with most activities taking place at Vanderbilt’s Martha Ingram Commons.

Researchers from Mexico, Russia and Colombia will join scholars from MTSU, Vanderbilt, George Mason University, Wesleyan University, Western Illinois University, the University of Kentucky, the University of San Diego, the Kennan Institute and the Nashville-based Kline Preston law firm in tackling this persistent political ill.

Events are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 14.

Dr. Stephen Morris

Sandy Johnson

“Corruption plagues many countries throughout the world and has become perhaps the major challenge to the deepening of democracy,” notes Dr. Stephen Morris, chair of the MTSU Department of Political Science.

“Today the new democracies of Mexico and Russia both struggle to manage corruption’s pernicious impact, while the U.S. faces a growing disillusionment regarding the role of money in politics.”

As a prelude to conference activities, Sandy Johnson, director of The Center for Public Integrity, will present “Uncovering Corruption: Tackling the Special-Interest Money that is Making Washington Ungovernable” at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

The Johnson event is sponsored by the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at MTSU’s College of Mass Communication. The Seigenthaler Chair is also a co-sponsor of the corruption conference, at which Johnson will be the Thursday luncheon speaker.

Another featured discussion at MTSU will be “Corruption and Democracy in Mexico and Russia,” which is slated for 6:45 p.m. Oct. 13 in Room 128 of the Business and Aerospace Building. It will be presented by John M. Ackerman of the Institute for Judicial Studies at Mexican National University and Andranik Migranyan of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation.

Scheduled panel discussion topics at the Martha Ingram Commons Oct. 13 and 14 include “Corruption and Development,” “Corruption and Education,” “Private Sector Corruption and Immigration” and “Corruption, Police and Drugs.”

All conference events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Morris at 615-494-7687; Dr. Andrei Korobkov, MTSU political science professor, at 615-898-2708; or Dr. Konstantin V. Kustanovich of Vanderbilt’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages at 615-322-2751, or visit

— Gina K. Logue (