Monmouth / About the College / News / Full Story

Great Decisions begins 39th year at Monmouth

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – The topic “Refugees and Global Migration” will kick off the 39th year of the Great Decisions series at Monmouth College on Jan. 23.

Monmouth anthropology professor Megan Hinrichsen will introduce this year’s opening topic at 7:30 p.m. in the Moot Board Room (Room 276) of the Center for Science and Business, 720 E. Broadway. A group discussion, which will last about an hour, will follow her remarks.

“This is a time of great global change, as America’s leaders reassess our position in the world, China rises, and the general diplomatic status quo faces increasing challenges,” said Monmouth political science professor Mike Nelson, who is one of the co-hosts of the eight-week Great Decisions series. “This program allows all of us to stay informed and have the time to reflect and discuss how all of this is significant to our own lives.”

Since 1981, Great Decisions has operated at Monmouth as a forum where the public and the academic community can freely meet in a congenial setting and discuss world affairs. All eight Great Decisions programs this semester are free and open to the public. They will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Moot Board Room, concluding on March 20 when Nelson will lead a discussion on the state of diplomacy.

“This year, we will include speakers with a wide range of backgrounds, including anthropology, communication studies, French and political science,” said Nelson. “One of the best aspects of these programs is that we always have a diverse audience, including members of the broader Monmouth community, as well as the students, staff and faculty of the College.”

Other topics that will be discussed in the first few weeks of the series are the Middle East, nuclear negotiations and the rise of populism in Europe. The United States’ relationship with Mexico and its trade status with China are also on the agenda, as well as a discussion on cyber conflicts and geopolitics.

Called “America’s largest discussion program on world affairs,” Great Decisions is a nationwide program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, a non-partisan, non-governmental association that works to increase Americans’ understanding of foreign policy issues.

A companion guide, Great Decisions 2019, can be ordered online at It includes eight chapters, each of which takes about a half-hour to read. The readings are also available on reserve at the College’s Hewes Library.

For more information about Great Decisions at Monmouth College, contact Nelson at or 309-457-2422 or the forum’s other co-host, Mohsin Masood, at or 309-457-2113.