President Frenk to host town hall meeting

Check out our recap of President Frenk’s town hall: President Frenk charts ‘roadmap’ for UM’s success at Town Hall

In President Julio Frenk’s inaugural first-year students’ address on Aug. 19, he told students that “these are the sorts of values we want to model for the larger society: learning to listen, learning to engage and learning to be respectful of each other.”

On Thursday night, he will put those into practice as he takes part in a historic town hall event at the BankUnited Center (BUC) that will include an introductory talk from the president as well as a question and answer session that will last around an hour.

President Frenk officially began as president on Aug. 16 and said he would spend his first 100 days in office listening to the UM community. This event, expected to last slightly over an hour, is his biggest chance yet to hear from the community.

The president’s Chief of Staff Rudy Fernandez said on Tuesday that the event will be President Frenk’s first introduction to the UM community.

“President Frenk is looking to listen to the UM community,” he said. “What challenges do students, faculty and staff feel they are facing? He also wants to hear what they think makes UM the great community that we all love.”

Fernandez said that the section of seats closest to the stage would be for students in order to give them the first opportunity to get up and ask questions. Along with questions from the audience, the school has been accepting questions over social media with the use of #AskFrenk.

The BankUnited Center will be at half capacity, according to Fernandez. The moderator for the event will be Fox News correspondent and 2010 UM graduate Bryan Llenas.

“I was kind of surprised when they asked me,” he said. “To be a small part of a historic moment for a school I love is an incredible opportunity. I think this is a smart, fantastic way to do it; [Frenk] is new to the family, and in order to become acquainted, he needs to listen.”

Both Llenas and Fernandez said that President Frenk views the event and his “listening tour” as an important aspect to approaching the last decade of the school’s first 100 years. He has taken over in the school’s 90th year and views this decade as crucial to advancing the school into its second century.

“When I spoke to him, I got a sense of what makes him tick … I love that he sounds really excited about the school’s future; he doesn’t want us to rest on our laurels.”

Tickets for students are free and must be picked up on a first-come, first-served basis. Using a valid Cane Card ID, students can get one ticket per person at the Whitten University Center and Student Center information desks from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At the Rosenstiel School campus, tickets can be acquired at the graduate studies office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the Miller School of Medicine campus, students can pick up tickets in the Office of Student Activities and Student Organizations or Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in the Rosenstiel Medical Science Building.

Faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community can acquire tickets online at