Mondale to use Carter-era documents in new class at U

Mondale will co-teach a class on American politics at the Humphrey Institute.

Elizabeth Cook

Former Vice President Walter Mondale will once again teach at the University next fall.

This will be the second time Mondale, who was the vice president under the Carter administration, will be co-teaching a class in the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Mondale will team up with Larry Jacobs, director of the Humphrey Institute’s Study of Politics and Governance, to teach the course “America’s Constitutional Crisis, 1964 to Present.”

Mondale also co-taught a course called “Leadership and Public Service with Walter Mondale” last semester with Jacobs.

“I thought it was such a successful class that I said, ‘Let’s do it again,’ ” Mondale said.

Jacobs said the class gives students unique access to the debates behind decisions made in government through historical documents Mondale was a part of.

Students will make connections to historical events that happened 25 years ago through recently published documents, he said.

“This is my 19th year teaching,” Jacobs said. “This is the most amazing experience of my entire career.”

The course will discuss the president and the U.S. Congress and their authority over national and foreign policy.

“I think we’ll be on the central issues of our time,” Mondale said.

Students will debate current issues such as when a president can declare war or rights regarding wiretapping, he said.

Alex Hontos, a third-year law student, took Mondale’s class last semester and said he was amazed by the experience.

“It was fabulous,” he said. “It was just an incredible opportunity to be so close to someone who’s done so many things.”

In the last class Mondale taught, students read through recently released documents, some of which relate to apartheid in South Africa or relations in China, Jacobs said.

“It’s invaluable to have not only the documents, but the individual who was at the center of the documents,” he said. “Anyone interested in politics will find this course a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

For Kristina Lund Alcantara, a third-year law student, the course was amazing, especially since it was taught by a “Minnesota superstar,” she said.

She had her picture taken with Mondale at the end of the semester during the final luncheon.

“I was probably a little more starstruck than some,” Lund Alcantara said. “I got it blown up into an 8 x 10.”