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Nov 25, 2019

Tensions on campus around free speech issues mean college and university leaders are often caught in the crosshairs. Hosts Lorelle Espinosa and Jon Fansmith speak with civil discourse and campus speech experts, Lara Schwartz, professor at American University, and Michelle Deutchman, executive director of the University of California’s Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, about the tensions, the research, and the policies that can have a huge impact on how students experience campus life and explore how leaders can make their own campuses inclusive.

Later, Lorelle and Jon look at further resources around campus inclusion and free speech and how the Department of Education may become more involved.


Here are some of the links and references from this week’s show:

Conversation with Lara Schwartz and Michelle Deutchman:

National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement
University of California

Syracuse University Hit With Racist Graffiti, Vandalism and a Swastika — All in Just Eight Days
The Washington Post (Nov. 15, 2019)

Free Expression on Campus: What College Students Think About First Amendment Issues
The Knight Foundation

How to College: What to Know Before You Go (and When You're There)
By Lara Schwartz and Andrea Malkin Brenner

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

Morse et. al. v. Frederick

To Protect Free Speech, U. of Wisconsin Is Poised to Double Down on Punishing Disruptive Protesters
The Chronicle of Higher Education (Oct. 10, 2019)

UC Irvine Free Speech Resources

Speaking Truth and Acting with Integrity: Confronting Challenges of Campus Racial Climate

Building My Voice: Project on Civil Discourse
American University

Post-Interview chat on free speech and inclusion resources

Campus Climate and Inclusion Resources

The Free Speech Project
Georgetown University

Campus Free Speech Guide
PEN America

#SpeechMatters Conference: The Future of Free Expression on Campus
Feb. 27, 2020, Washington, DC

Inclusion and Free Speech: Strategies for Managing Tensions
ACE Engage®

Equal Participation of Faith-Based Organizations in Department of Education Programs and Activities
U.S. Department of Education


Each episode of dotEDU presents a deep dive into a major issue impacting college campuses and students across the country. Hosts from ACE are joined by guest experts to lead you through thought-provoking conversations on topics such as campus free speech, diversity in admissions, college costs and affordability, and more. Find all episodes of the podcast at the dotEDU page.

Tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @ACEducation or email


Lorelle Espinosa is the vice president for research at ACE. In this role, she is responsible for developing the organization’s thought leadership and research agenda and for ensuring a consistent evidence base across ACE’s array of programs and services.

Jon Fansmith is ACE’s director of government relations and represents ACE and its members on matters related to the federal budget and appropriations process, with a particular focus on student aid.