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Fellows of the Association Award

Robert M. O’Neil - 2008

Robert M. O’Neil is the founding director of The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, prior to which he served for five years as president of the University of Virginia. His fortyfive year career in higher education includes serving as provost of the University of Cincinnati, Vice President of Indiana University’s Bloomington Campus, and President of the University of Wisconsin System. Before entering administration, Professor O’Neil taught law at the University of California, from 1963 to 1972. Professor O’Neil holds three degrees from Harvard University (A.B. 1956, A.M. 1957, LL.B. 1961) and honorary degrees from Beloit College and Indiana University, was Chairman of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges in 1990, and is the current Director of the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogues Initiative.

Professor O’Neil has been a member of NACUA since 1993. He has served as a speaker at four NACUA educational programs. He is the author of several books, including The Rights of Public Employees (second edition, 1993), Classrooms in the Crossfire (1981), Free Speech in the College Community (1997), The First Amendment and Civil Liability (2001), and Academic Freedom in the Wired World (2008) as well as many articles in law reviews and other journals, including six articles for The Journal of College and University Law. He is co-editor of NACUA’s upcoming compendium, Free Speech in Higher Education: Important Protections and Permissible Regulations. He is nationally recognized as the leading scholar on First Amendment issues in the university setting.

NACUA is pleased to recognize Robert O’Neil as a Fellow of the Association for his exemplary service, his quality of scholarship, and the distinction he has brought to higher education law.