How are attitudes toward free expression evolving on college campuses? How do college leaders respond to claims that their institutions have become unwelcoming places for certain views? How can colleges mitigate potential conflicts when they do arise? I talked with Michael S. Roth, the president of Wesleyan University; Eduardo Peñalver, the president of Seattle University; Amna Khalid, an associate professor of history at Carleton College; and Robert Sellers, the vice provost for equity and inclusion at the University of Michigan. The conversation, which was supported by the Knight Foundation, was a spirited and substantive attempt at coming to grips with what is, as Sellers put it, “the most stressful time that any of the panelists can recall — not only in our college campuses, but our society as well.”
Robert Sellers: One of the things that is happening now is that voices who have traditionally not had access to higher education, have not had access to some of these spaces, has led to a very different set of notions with regards to what an idealized picture of freedom of speech means. Freedom of speech is particularly valuable if and only if you also have a strong sense of personal safety.
One of the challenges is that we’re dealing with communities that look very different than they have historically looked, and some of the things that we’ve automatically taken for granted as core values aren’t as core given the fact that people are situated in different places and different spaces.
Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education