Joining KU Debate
An Adventure In Competition, Learning, and Life!
KU Debate alums have found intercollegiate policy debate to be preparation for life, whether that means a career focused on the classroom, the boardroom, or the courtroom. The rigorous training that intercollegiate debate instills serves graduates for life. READ MORE...
Part of the Family
Being part of the debate team at KU is more than just participating in an extra-curricular activity. It's like being part of a large extended family. KU debaters are the benefices of a long tradition in debate and forensic activities dating back over three quarters of a century. Alumni are an important part of our family, but so are the faculty who work with us, the coaching staff, and the debaters themselves, who live, work, and socialize together. "You'll be hard pressed to find a nicer bunch of people to work and travel with," says former Assistant Coach, Kevin Minch. "Our debaters are genuinely friendly. They care about each other and their work. It shows in their performance and the way they work together."
KU debaters get the best coaching the University's resources can obtain.
Dr. Scott Harris, Director of Debate
Dr. Scott Harris, Director of Debate, Director of Debate has been the debate coach at KU since 1991. He won the Northwestern Debate Society Award for excellent in coaching in 2010; the Ovid Davis Award for winning a national championship in 2009; the National Debate Coach of the Year Award in 2006, and the George Ziegelmueller Career Debate Coaching Award in 2006. He is the Vice President of the American Forensic Association and was awarded the Gene A. Budig Teaching Professorship for the Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2010. As a head coach his teams have qualified for the National Debate Tournament every year since 1987. As a debater he was the 2nd speaker at the National Debate Tournament in 1981.
Assistant Debate Coaches
Brett Bricker, Natalie Pennington, Mike Kearney, Justin Kirk, Chris Stone, Mark Wonnacott, and Dr. Kelly Winfrey.
KU Debate has a record of success unmatched in American debate. KU has qualified more teams to the National Debate Tournament than any other debate program in America. It has had fourteen "Final Four" appearances and won five national titles.
KU debaters have gone on to success after college as well. KU Debate alumni include lawyers, legislators, former state and federal attorney generals, prosecutors, and Justice Department officals, financiers, teachers, professors, artists, doctors, and civic leaders.
KU debaters travel widely -- regardless of their class level. In the past few years, KU debate has criss-crossed the nation, from California to New York, from Texas to Illinois. Debaters drive in University vans or fly to their destinations all at the team's expense. Students do not pay for travel or for competition at KU.
KU debaters have access to their own working space in KU's Bailey Hall. The team's squadroom is equipped with computers, a laser printer, a photocopier, and all of the equipment necessary to produce quality briefs. Students can always use the squadroom as a place to hang out, do homework, search Lexis-Nexis, and check their latest e-mail messages.
Coming to KU
|The KU Campus|
The University of Kansas
Department of Communication Studies
B105 Bailey Hall
Lawrence, KS 66044
The packet includes an application to the University, background information on the team, information about scholarships and housing, and other helpful facts.
If you wish to make a campus visit and meet the members of the team and staff, please call at least two weeks in advance at (785) 864-9878. E-Mail can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will arrange for you to stay in the dorms or with one of our debaters, and acclimate you to the KU Debate environment. You can also click here to take a virtual tour of the KU campus
If you're already a KU student, call or stop by our offices in the sub-basement of Bailey Hall. We'd be happy to talk to you.