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Last modified: Monday, November 19, 2007

IU Bloomington not selected for 2008 presidential debate

Nov. 19, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will not host a 2008 U.S. presidential or vice presidential debate. The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates today (Nov. 19) announced the selection of sites for three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, and two alternate sites. IUB was not one of them.

"Indiana University extends its congratulations and best wishes to the applicants that were selected," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "While we are disappointed, we know that the extensive effort that went into our proposal to host one of the debates was not wasted. This was a tremendous learning experience for our students, who took the lead in developing and carrying out this initiative."

IU Bloomington joined with the City of Bloomington, the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. and the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention & Visitors Bureau to submit a bid in April to become one of the debate sites. It was one of 16 applicants for the debates, expected to take place between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, 2008. The Commission on Presidential Debates selected sites for three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, along with two alternate sites.

IU submitted a proposal that called for a presidential or vice presidential debate to take place at the 3,200-seat Indiana University Auditorium, with support services at the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building, the Radio and Television Center, the Indiana Memorial Union and IU athletics facilities. University officials said hosting the debate would mesh with the university's emphasis on public engagement and its focus on national and international affairs.

Doug Booher, IU Auditorium director, said the initiative produced unprecedented cooperation between students and administration and between campus and community. "It's been an amazing learning experience for everyone that's been part of it," he said.

The Commission for Presidential Debates is a nonpartisan, nonprofit corporation established in 1987 to sponsor and produce U.S. presidential and vice presidential debates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. It sponsored all the presidential debates in the 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 elections.