AMERICAN PUBLIC PHILOSOPHY INSTITUTE INC

aka --   |   Irving, TX   |  www.appii.org

Mission

The American Public Philosophy Institute, located at the University of Dallas, is an interdisciplinary group of scholars from various universities, supported by local businessmen, that promotes a natural law public philosophy rooted in the principles of the American Founding, pursuing freedom and prosperity, grounded on the moral integrity of the culture and on the institutions (e.g., families and churches) which bear the primary responsibility for the inculcation of civic virtue. The scope of our activities is broad, including programs at the University of Dallas, programs in the Dallas area, and regional and national conferences.

Ruling year info

1990

President

Dr. Christopher Wolfe

Main address

1005 McCoy Dr.

Irving, TX 75062 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

22-3037480

NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Political Science (V24)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Americans are deeply polarized on a variety of profoundly important issues and principles. Various elements of its traditional "public philosophy", rooted in the principles of the American Founding, have been increasingly challenged in the 20th and 21st century. One way to view these challenges is to say that they have aimed to eliminate important natural law principles from that public philosophy, especially regarding the stability of the family, the principles of an objective morality, and a sense of mutual accommodation between religion (especially Judeo-Christian principles) and politics. Restoring an understanding of and commitment to traditional principles of American public philosophy (while recognizing the constant need to reform our efforts to achieve the goals of those principles more effectively, as, for example, in the area of racial equality) requires a serious and self-conscious civic education of each new generation, which has been lacking in recent decades.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

University of Dallas Lectures and Conferences

The APPI typically brings in nationally-known scholars and public figures about twice a semester at the University of Dallas. Examples of past speakers include W. Bradford Wilcox (Director, National Marriage Project), Ross Douthat (New York Times), William Galston (Brookings Institution), Robert George (Princeton University), and Ryan Anderson (Heritage Foundation).

Population(s) Served

The APPI sponsors lectures for business and professional leaders on important contemporary public issues. Some examples include "The Vocation of the Business Leader" by Dr. Michael Naughton (University of St. Thomas), "American Capitalism: What's Right and What's Wrong" by Dr. Samuel Gregg (Acton Institute), "The Vocation of the Judge" by Emilio Garza (retired judge of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals), and "The Moral and Cultural Preconditions of a Flourishing Market Economy" by Robert George (Princeton University).

Population(s) Served

TNSPI is a group of faculty and students at Texas universities that hold a once-a-semester regional student seminar, the venue for which rotates among various universities. Past topics include marriage, free speech on campus, religious liberty, and economic inequality.

Population(s) Served

Each year the APPI sponsors a seminar open to all college students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) and young teachers, at the University of Dallas.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1) We aim to provide students (graduate and undergraduate) and faculty -- especially at the University of Dallas -- with thoughtful examinations of important intellectual and public issues, drawing especially on the political principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition.
2) We aim to contribute to reflection on important issues of public philosophy for businessmen, professionals, and others in the Dallas area.
3) We aim to contribute to the national discussion of American public philosophy, both among scholars and among the general public.
4) We sponsor summer seminars and regional student conferences that will expand the reach of our discussions of important political and social principles and issues to a broader audience of scholars and students.
In sum, the APPI aims to help to shape American culture by encouraging people (especially young people) to reflect on fundamental issues, equipping them to participate in contemporary debates about American public philosophy.

1) We aim to help students especially by our campus lecture series and by accompanying colloquia, in which a select group of faculty and students study issues in greater depth. We have expanded in recent years by offering a summer seminar and regional student seminars for students.
2) We aim to contribute to reflection on important issues by businessmen, professionals, and others, by lecture and seminar series in the Dallas area open to the general public. Our hope is that a high-quality, ongoing series of lectures can also contribute to the formation of an informal community of leaders who understand the current state of American life better and are therefore enabled to promote the common good more effectively.
3) We contribute to the national discussion of public philosophy especially by conferences that take up important contemporary issues (scholarly and public) and can have widespread dissemination through our publications.

The APPI is blessed with an extensive network of outstanding scholars, from various disciplines and throughout the country, which provides it with the expertise to offer programs that insightfully apply traditional American and natural law principles to contemporary American problems. It also has ties with academics who represent more contemporary forms of contemporary liberal and progressive thought, which enables it to foster debate and discussion with them.
The University of Dallas offers an unusually coherent and comprehensive framework of liberal education, which encourages and helps both faculty and students in their reflection on contemporary issues.
The APPI also has the support of a group of local Dallas businessmen who are interested in important political, social, and ethical questions, and want both to participate in and to support the APPI's efforts to study and discuss them.

We have succeeded in establishing a reputation for sponsoring high-quality lectures, conferences, and publications, from a perspective otherwise not well-represented in contemporary American intellectual life: a public philosophy guided by the principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition.
The scope of our reach has been limited so far, in various ways, and we hope to expand that reach.
1) Before 2014, the APPI was free-standing, without roots in a particular academic institution. The APPI retains its own independent existence, but its move to the University of Dallas provides both a supportive home and an intelligent and receptive audience of faculty and students.
2) Most of our earlier activities (lectures, conferences) were done at a time when the internet did not play as significant a role in contemporary life, and so earlier activities were largely available in person or through publications. The APPI now brings many of its activities to our website, so that they will be accessible to many more people.
3) Most of our earlier academic activities were scholarly conferences (with publications flowing from them). We have expanded these academic activities to include regional seminars and summer workshops that will enable us to reach more young scholars, graduate students, and upper-level undergraduate students, to help them to develop greater expertise in principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition.

Financials

AMERICAN PUBLIC PHILOSOPHY INSTITUTE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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AMERICAN PUBLIC PHILOSOPHY INSTITUTE INC

Board of directors
as of 9/10/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Christopher Wolfe

University of Dallas

Term: 2016 - 2017

Christopher Wolfe

University of Dallas

James Kearns

Bryan Cave Law Firm, St. Louis

Brent McDaniel

KPMG

Richard Dougherty

University of Dallas

Susan Hanssen

University of Dallas

Rob Hays

Ashford Inc.

Luis Tellez

Princeton University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No