By Jeff Murphy, April 10, 2018
WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri President Chuck Ambrose will join
higher education leaders nationwide at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.,
Wednesday, April 11, to discuss elements of a strong institutional framework for freedom
of expression and challenges that go with it.
The American Council on Education (ACE) Convening on Campus Inclusion and Free Expression is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It is the third event in a series on this topic which has taken place over the course of the 2017-18 academic year on campuses across the country.
According to information provided by Lorelle Espinosa, assistant vice president for the ACE Center for Policy Research and Strategy, national events that have occurred over the past two years have created a challenging landscape at higher education institutions, often pitting values of diversity, inclusion, and freedom of expression against each other. The ACE series is designed to uncover the tensions that have resulted and to chart a path forward.
“ACE has convened college and university president to engage with their peers and other experts on how to protect freedom of expression on campuses in a way that preserves the spirit of open, robust inquiry while also ensuring that all are able to enjoy the rights and protections of the First Amendment,” Espinosa noted.
Ambrose will participate in a half-day discussion for sharing dialogue related to freedom of expression. This will include receiving information about how ACE and other stakeholders can support campus leadership in this area. They will also evaluate models that the community can learn from and identify areas in need of scholarship.
“I commend ACE for coordinating the convening on freedom of expression, and look forward to the opportunity to be part of the discussion about this very central issue to our democracy,” Ambrose said. “It’s important that colleges and universities expose students to different points of view and people of different backgrounds, but students should feel included and respected. These seem to be competing interests when, in fact, we must design ways to advance both important values. Campus leaders need to be aware of what they can do to advance learning in these situations, and create an atmosphere which values a civil, healthy discussion of ideas that will teach students how to engage as citizens.”
Ambrose joins about 45 individuals representing colleges and universities from institutions of all sizes. They include leaders from University of Missouri System, Metropolitan Community College-Longview, University of Kansas, Georgetown University, Washington University, Texas A&M- San Antonia, University of Michigan, Michigan State, University of Alabama, University of Wisconsin, and more.