Academic freedom is core to the mission of higher education. A growing number of conflicts in the form of large public demonstrations and event protests have created an urgent need for institutions to self-reflect on what freedom of expression looks like on their respective campuses. Some scholars and thought-leaders are concerned that efforts to increase sensitivity and safety are suppressing frank and open discussion. Others believe colleges and universities have a duty to protect students from what some deem as hateful rhetoric that targets specific groups in harmful ways. The fall 2017 William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate will present different viewpoints on how institutions can support diversity and inclusion while providing space for robust discourse, deliberation, and disagreement. Moderated by Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology Neil Gross and sponsored by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs.
Laura Beth Nielsen, director of the Legal Studies Program and professor of sociology, Northwestern University
Jon A. Shields, associate professor of government, Claremont McKenna College
Jon Zimmerman, professor of history of education, University of Pennsylvania
Please join us for a coffee and dessert reception at 6:30 p.m. The discussion will begin at 7 p.m.