Bulen Symposium

An across-the-aisle discussion about American politics

Political Science Department with Keynote Speaker at 2022 Bulen Symposium. (Left to Right) Erin Engles, Tijen Demirel-Pegg, Scott Pegg, Keynote Vop Osili, Margie Ferguson, Bill Blomquist

Every other November, the L. Keith Bulen Symposium on American Politics brings together politicians, political staffers, journalists, and scholars to discuss the latest election and look to the next one.

The one-day event cuts through the sound bites to talk about politics in a more meaningful way. Each symposium includes a media panel, presentations, and a discussion with the Indiana party chairs.

The Department of Political Science hosts the symposium, which is free and open to the public.

A who’s who of Indiana politics

First held in 1998, the Bulen Symposium has had many prominent participants, including former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton, former Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, and current Indiana governor Eric Holcomb. Political reporters who have participated include Jim Shella, Amber Stearns, Amos Brown, Lesley Weidenbener, and Tony Cook.

About L. Keith Bulen

L. Keith Bulen was a prominent political figure in Indiana. He worked in government for nearly half a century, and was elected or appointed at the block, precinct, ward, county, district, state, national, and international levels.

Bulen cultivated the initial successes of Richard Lugar and helped shape the careers of many other leaders and officials. He helped develop metropolitan government in Indianapolis (Unigov), and was involved in the management of campaigns for U.S. Congress, governor, and president. President Reagan appointed him a commissioner of the International Joint Commission, which prevents and resolves disputes between the United States and Canada over boundary waters.

Republicans and Democrats came together to establish this symposium in honor of Bulen’s life.

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Open-minded political discussion is more important than ever. Help us facilitate these conversations.

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Contact us

Aaron Dusso, Department Chair and associate professor of political science