What’s the State of Free Expression on Campus?

Students and colleagues chatting outside of Michigan League

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.”


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