Books by Nick Hayes
  • One Fine Morning
  • Looking for Leningrad  My Soviet Life

University Chair in Critical Thinking


"Could the activity of thinking as such - the habit of examining whatever happens to come to pass or to attract attention, regardless of results and specific content - could this activity be among the conditions that make us abstain from evil-doing or
even condition us against it
Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind 



The Saint John's University Chair in Critical Thinking fosters interdisciplinary thinking in a global context with an emphasis on how such thinking can intersect most productively with local and national media.

The Chair sponsors an annual lecture series, serves as the faculty advisor for students for nationally competitive fellowships, sponsors international faculty development seminars, and teaches in the CORE and Honors curriculum of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. Nick Hayes currently holds the University Chair in Critical Thinking at Saint John's University.

Nick is a popular commentator on international affairs for public radio and television who has been featured in a wide range of publications from the scholarly Slavic Review to the popular Interview Magazine. His recent articles and photography have appeared in The Moscow Times, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Interview Magazine, Newsweek International, and Utne Reader. Since the 1980s, Nick has worked with Twin Cities Public Television as a featured commentator and field correspondent for its popular weekly public affairs program Almanac.

On Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), Nick is a regularly featured commentator for the daily public affairs program Midday on issues ranging from political turmoil in post-communist Europe to the war in Iraq. He has appeared on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and given radio commentaries for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered and Public Radio International's Marketplace.

"Nick is a Minnesota treasure, the media's go-to guy for history and current events. Yes, Nick is a top flight scholar which gives him rock solid credibility, but he is also a great storyteller, with the ability to explain complex issues in an understandable, interesting way. He is personable, witty, a terrific writer, and always willing to share what he's learned. He is, in the truest sense, a public intellectual; a great ambassador for CSB/SJU." 

~Gary Eichten, MPR


Contact Us

Nick Hayes
Professor of History
Quad 451B, SJU
(320) 363-2623

Lori Moe
Administrative Assistant
Quad 355A, SJU
(320) 363-3552

Mia McVicker
Research Assistant

Anastasiia Okuneva
Research Assistant