- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 18, 2003

It is perhaps the only college course in the nation that requires students to waive their right to privacy and undergo security screening.
"POLS 4325 The Clinton Presidency" got under way at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock at 6 o'clock sharp Thursday night.
This is not Bubba 101.
Professor Margaret Scranton is intent on an academic exploration of the Clinton presidency from the political science standpoint. And yes, former President Clinton will make an appearance somewhere along the line.
"We have a firm commitment from him. We just don't know when he's going to join us," Mrs. Scranton said from Little Rock yesterday.
The former president had not called to check up on his namesake class, either. "I haven't heard a word from him," Mrs. Scranton said. "But that's good. I like a bit of distance between us. We don't answer to him."
"The class was an emotional evening in certain respects," Mrs. Scranton said. And it was doubtless entertaining: She included a photo of Mr. Clinton and Monica Lewinsky as the finale to a slide show.
"I selected this photo to make clear we're not going to ignore the controversies and investigations," she told the class of 25 students, who had to submit personal essays on why they wanted to take the course. "We have to confront the various controversies."
The course began just a day before the five-year anniversary of a Jan. 17, 1998, dispatch in the Drudge Report that informed the nation that its leader was having a sexual relationship with a young intern.
Such things helped spawn several creative Clinton analogies.
"When we thought of Reagan, we often thought of Teflon," Mrs. Scranton told students. "But I have often used the term Velcro to describe what happens to Bill Clinton. All of us know that Clinton is a controversial president. People have strong feelings."
C-SPAN videotaped Thursday's class, which can be viewed at 8 p.m. Friday on C-SPAN 2. Classes during the next 14 weeks will be shown every Friday night at 8, says network spokeswoman Robin Scullin.
Students had to give permission to be videotaped and sign a waiver of rights granted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The university is shielded from claims of libel or defamation should any lawsuits stem from the course.
It wasn't exactly the Hollywood that Mr. Clinton knows but it was close. "The lights, the cameras. Nobody knows what that's like until they're in it," Mrs. Scranton said. "I was worried it would affect the students that they would stop being students. But it didn't. They were at ease."
Speakers also included Hal Bass, a political science professor at Ouachita Baptist University at Arkadelphia, Ark., and David Alsobrook of the Clinton Presidential Materials Project. Future guest lecturers will include David Wilhelm, 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign chairman; former Clinton attorney David Kendall; Al From of the Democratic Leadership Council; and Hickman Ewing, who served as deputy independent counsel on Kenneth W. Starr's prosecution team during Mr. Clinton's impeachment.
The class itself will serve as a kind of prototype for the Clinton School of Public Service, which will offer college courses at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock when it is completed next year.
Meanwhile, Mr. Clinton's Harlem-based office continues to do some educational outreach.
The office posted this online application: "If you are an undergraduate junior or senior, a recent graduate, or a graduate or professional student, with your own passionate interest in crucial issues of our day, the Intern Program of the William Jefferson Clinton Office in New York City offers a unique opportunity for growth, learning and meaningful service."


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