February 1-2, 2018
Free Speech and Campus Unrest

Free speech is a foundational principle of higher education. It is through the robust exchange of ideas, both orthodox and controversial, that higher education fulfills its mission. But freedom of speech is also a source of substantial controversy that often leads to campus unrest. Whether prompted by an invitation to a controversial speaker, protests over historical monuments, peaceful demonstrations at athletic events, social media threats implicating violence or riots, or hecklers hijacking campus events, free speech is both thriving and threatened on campus. Campus attorneys are increasingly called upon for their expertise on the law surrounding the First Amendment or comparable state law or University policy requirements and also for their good judgment in advising campus leaders and other administrators who are planning for or responding to crisis situations.

This one-and-a-half-day CLE workshop will address a wide range of issues related to free speech and campus unrest. Sessions will include content that:

  • addresses the perspective of the current generation of students on free speech and the First Amendment,
  • helps campuses prepare for and manage campus unrest,
  • identifies when speech can be censored or becomes actionable,
  • addresses how to keep campuses safe during events featuring controversial speakers,
  • explores effective responses to hate speech, and
  • touches on other timely and pertinent topics. 
Erwin Chemerinsky
A plenary session on the second day of the conference will feature Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and Howard Gillman, Chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, who co-authored the recently published book, “Free Speech on Campus.”

This timely and helpful program is for any campus attorney currently addressing or advising on free speech issues, including those potentially involving the threat of protests or violence. Senior campus leadership, student affairs professionals, campus police, and others who interface with students, speech, and protests may also benefit from this workshop and after reviewing the program schedule, NACUA members may wish to invite such administrators to attend the program.
Howard Gillman

Featured Programs

Thursday, February 1

9:30 AM to 10:45 AM

02A. Thinking Ahead: Anticipating and Planning For Disruptive Speech and Demonstrations

Thursday, February 1

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM

05B. YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!: Free Speech at a Private University        

Friday, February 2

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

07. A Conversation with Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman


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Review the program’s schedule to learn more about the great sessions we have in store for this meeting!

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