The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

Conference at Emory (3/21-3/23) on academic freedom and campus free speech

I'm helping organize an exciting conference, from the evening of March 21 to the afternoon of March 23, 2019, bringing together academics and student-affairs professionals to talk about current issues related to academic freedom and free speech on campus.


I'd like to announce this exciting new conference at the Emory University Conference Center, beginning on the evening of March 21, 2019, and ending on the afternoon of March 23, about academic freedom and campus free speech. It's brought to you by the office of Emory's provost, Dwight McBride, Emory Campus Life, and the Emory University Senate's Committee for Open Expression (which I'm the chair of).

Note that Emory University is one of the handful of universities that has earned a green light rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for its speech-protective policies. Emory's Open Expression policy is very speech-protective, and the Committee for Open Expression has issued a number of opinions interpreting the policy, including one in 2016 explaining that the Trump chalkings were protected speech.

You can register at this link; registration is free for Emory students, faculty, and staff, and for students at other places; and is a very affordable $100 for everyone else.

Academic Freedom and Free Speech on Campus

Join Emory University for its conference Academic Freedom and Free Speech on Campus March 21-23, 2019 to discuss what academic freedom and free speech mean in the life of higher education institutions today.

The conference is an opportunity to showcase how public and private institutions of higher education continue to be on the forefront of debate, deliberation, and knowledge creation. Emory University is committed to this through its strategic framework, which states that "we practice the values of intellectual rigor, integrity, risk taking, and collaboration. Our faculty and students pursue open inquiry across disciplines—guided by evidence, committed to critical inquiry, fueled by the creative spirit, and dedicated not only to discovery in its own right but to solving problems and serving society." This conference was created to demonstrate this commitment.

The goal of the conference is to generate conversations on ideas, laws, policies, and practices related to academic freedom and free speech on college campuses. It will provide opportunities for faculty, scholars, student affairs professionals and students to interrogate ideas ranging from academic freedom and free speech to safe spaces, and to discuss campus protests and dissent in order to develop practices and policies that promote free speech.

Please join the conversation by attending the conference.

Who's participating? A mix of academics, student-affairs professionals, and others. Here is a (not necessarily complete) list, in no particular order:

In addition, we have several participants from Emory, including:

  • Deborah Lipstadt, professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies,
  • Pamela Scully, vice provost for undergraduate education,
  • Michael Shutt, senior director of Campus Life,
  • Michele Hempfling, associate dean of Campus Life, Oxford College of Emory University,
  • Ed Lee, senior director for debate, deliberation, and dialogue,
  • Christa Acampora, deputy provost for academic affairs,
  • Steven Sencer, Emory's general counsel,
  • Lisa Garvin, acting dean of the chapel and spiritual life,
  • Courtnay Oddman, assistant director of residence life,
  • Nancy Seideman, vice president of academic communications,
  • Bert Buchtinec, captain of Emory Police Department,
  • Fred Smith Jr., law professor,
  • Julie Seaman, law professor,
  • Frank Lechner, sociology professor,
  • Karen Andes, professor of global health,
  • Dabney Evans, professor of global health,
  • Henry Bayerle, classics professor,
  • Zach Raetzmann, student,
  • and me.

Please come represent the readership of the Volokh Conspiracy, and say hi to me when you're there!