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KU News Release

September 8, 2005
Contact: Toni Dixon, School of Business, (785) 864-4449.

Former FCC chair Michael Powell to give Chandler Lecture at KU Sept. 28

LAWRENCE -- Former Federal Communications Commission chair Michael Powell will present "The Digital Revolution" at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 28 in the Lied Center as part of the Anderson Chandler Lecture Series presented by the University of Kansas School of Business. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Powell, son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, will talk about future technological changes and how they will impact our society. He will discuss the ways in which technology will influence how people work, play and care for others, as well as affect media, music, telephony and wireless equipment.

Powell was named to the FCC for a Republican seat in 1997 by President Clinton and was appointed FCC chair in 2001 by President Bush. He resigned in March 2005. As chair, Powell encouraged new approaches to get broadband technology out to the public sector. As a result, alternatives such as broadband over power lines, WiFi hotspots, cable broadband and DSL were made more available. Powell also set out to update FCC regulations in line with this new technology, focusing on initiatives that encouraged market-driven solutions and reduced regulation. His deregulatory policy resulted in a period of significant consolidation in the communications market.

Powell campaigned for the right to keep a cellular phone number when switching wireless carriers and created a Do-Not-Call list. The FCC stepped up its policing of the airwaves for indecency following the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson halftime performance at the 2004 Super Bowl. This high-profile incident focused public attention on the FCC's enforcement of indecency rules, which had already increased following rock star Bono's use of an expletive on live TV. As a result, disc jockey Howard Stern and other lesser-known "shock jocks" received record fines.

Powell was the FCC's defense commissioner and was responsible for overseeing all National Security Emergency Preparedness functions for the commission.

Powell is the ninth presenter in the Chandler series, which began in 1997 as a gift from Anderson Chandler. He is CEO, president and director of Fidelity State Bank and Trust Co. of Topeka and vice president and director of First Bank of Newton, and he is a member of the School of Business Dean's Club and its advisory board.

Chandler, a School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, recently established the Anderson W. Chandler Teaching Professorship in Business. In 1997 Chandler received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion, the highest award for service to the university by an alumnus.

Through the Chandler series, the business school has presented speakers such as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Broder; columnist Robert Novak; and Earl G. Graves, CEO of the parent company of Black Entrepreneur Magazine. For more information visit or call (785) 864-3795.


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