I've been really curious about Stein's timely visit to OPU; it's just one week after the release of his movie, Expelled. The title of his lecture is "Ben Stein on Life," so there's really no indication of what Stein will talk about. The lecture is sponsored by the business department at OPU, so it's entirely possible that he'll drone on about his career in business. But I think it's also possible that he could talk about his movie.
I guess OPU thinks so, too.
I did a web search yesterday to see if I could find out more about the lecture and our local weekly had a brief article about it (here). The article more or less addresses the fact that Stein will be coming to OPU and that his "documentary" will be coming to Hippietown. The author commented on the fact that the theater hosting the movie usually features left-leaning documentaries and asked the theater owner about the movie.
"Owner Merrill Jarvis Jr. says the suggestion to program the movie came from [OPU], where an assistant in the dean of the business school’s office thought Expelled would pair well with the upcoming talk. Six days later, citing worries about controversy, the same employee asked Jarvis if he could postpone the film till after Stein’s visit."
Apparently, OPU realizes the potential for a controversial lecture. According to the article:
"Reached by phone, business school Dean [insert Dean's name] says the apparent mixed messages were due to a “miscommunication,” and that the concerns about Expelled came from “what appears to be an overzealous public relations office.” For her part, [insert Dean's name] asserts, “I’d rather be in a position to actually see this.” She doesn’t want students to be “ill-informed about the film” when they approach Stein at his post-lecture Q&A: “We teach critical thinking in the business school.”
The article also mentions that the theater owner was also contacted by a local church, requesting that the theater host the movie. The theater owner is trying to contact Stein to get him to come to a Q&A session at the theater.
So I guess this could be pretty controversial after all. I sure wish I wasn't the only person I know in the area who's kept up with the controversy surrounding the film. If anyone out there wants to come to the lecture with me, I'd sure love it. I can get you a ticket...I just can't offer you a place to stay if you're traveling from out of town (J's mom will be staying with us that weekend). But, I'd be more than happy to meet up with you on Friday, go to the lecture, and feed you dinner.