Ashland University Archives logo

Library Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2013-23-0026
Title Commencement May 13, 1989 Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio.
Object Name Audio Visual
Summary VHS 1/2 inch video tape-Commencement May 13, 1989 Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. Speaker-John Agresto, Ph. D. WRDL TV 2 production.

John Agresto is an author, lecturer, and university administrator.

Agresto holds a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University. He has published in the areas of politics, law, and education, and has taught at the University of Toronto, Kenyon College, Duke University and the New School University. In the 1980s he served as associate director of the National Humanities Center in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, reporting to director William J. Bennett. He went with Bennett to the National Endowment for the Humanities, where he served as deputy chairman under Bennett and Lynne Cheney.
In 1986 Agresto was nominated by President Reagan to become Archivist of the United States. At least thirteen national historical and archival organizations opposed Agresto's nomination, some objecting to what they claimed was his political partisanship The American Studies Association said that his was "a mediocre political appointment" and the Organization of American Historians claimed he lacked "the technical qualifications for the job." Opposition to Agresto was also based on his two-year refusal while at the NEH to comply with federal affirmative action hiring requirements. (Agresto vowed to resign rather than comply, but backed down after Congress threatened to abolish the Endowment.) During the confirmation process, it was disclosed that a pro-Agresto witness at a Senate hearing had received a $10,000 "chairman's grant" from Agresto six months earlier, after an application for a $30,000 grant was rejected by a humanities panel. The nomination produced controversy for over a year before it was withdrawn.

From 1989 to 2000, Agresto served as President of St. John’s College in Santa Fe. In 2002-03 he was Lily Senior Research Fellow at Wabash College. Between August 2003 and June 2004 he served as a Coalition Provisional Authority Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad, Iraq.[4] He then worked full-time with The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani as its Interim Provost and Chancellor, an experience he drew on to write Mugged By Reality – The Liberation of Iraq and the Failure of Good Intentions (2007). In 2008-2009 he was a visiting fellow at Princeton
Published Date 5/13/1989
Physical Description VHS 1/2 inch video tape
TT 54:41 minutes
Collection Ashland University Archives Audio Visual Collection
Accession number 2013-23