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KNOXVILLE — The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, invites the campus and community to watch the Oct. 7 presidential debate and then join in a live videoconference discussion with viewers from five other Tennessee universities.

“DebateWatch” will be held at 9 p.m. in the University Center auditorium.

Live audiences also will assemble at UT Martin, UT Chattanooga, the University of Memphis, Tennessee State University and East Tennessee State University to watch the Belmont University Town Hall presidential debate and participate in the hour-long videoconference discussion.

Those not participating in the event can view the discussion via live webcast on the Baker Center Web site,

DebateWatch events — sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates — provide an opportunity for people to share their thoughts, questions and impressions about the debate without any influence from the political commentary-based shows that traditionally follow the debate.

For this DebateWatch, participating schools and their moderators are:

– The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, moderated by Mike Fitzgerald, senior teaching fellow at the Baker Center and professor of political science.

– The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, moderated by Bob Swansbrough, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of political science.

– The University of Tennessee at Martin, moderated by Mike McCullough, professor of management, marketing and political science, and Tim Smith, adjunct instructor of history and philosophy.

– Tennessee State University-Avon Williams Campus, moderated by Robert L. Hampton, provost and executive vice president, and Sharon Peters, director of off-campus programs.

– University of Memphis, moderated by Robert Blanton, interim department chair and associate professor of political science.

– East Tennessee State University, moderated by Deborah Harley, assistant vice president for community engagement, learning and leadership.


Gavin Luter, (865) 974-0931,