In this polarized era, WSU is taking steps to make sure students, faculty and the community understand the university’s Freedom of Expression statements. To help accomplish that, WSU will present a panel on Freedom of Expression from 3 to 4:15 p.m. March 31. Topics of discussion will be free speech in higher education, academic freedom, the personal responsibilities that accompany free speech and ways universities can embrace free speech values.
The virtual event, titled Speaking Freely on Freedom of Expression, will be moderated by Lee Pelton, a WSU alumnus who has been president of Emerson College in Boston the past 10 years. A Harvard graduate, he is recognized nationally as a thought leader in areas such as innovation, diversity and community engagement.
Panelists will be Christine Hughes, retired vice president and general counsel of Emerson College; Tyson C. Langhofer, senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom with Alliance Defending Freedom and Wichita State alumnus; and Neal Allen, associate professor and chairman of political science at Wichita State.
Information on how to participate in the panel discussion will be released soon. Other events on the importance of freedom of expression are in the planning stages, Muma says. “We hope to have a series of talks that will promote how everyone can benefit from the open exchange of ideas.”
Wichita State recently adopted a new Free Expression Resolution that states “Wichita State University will not shy away from exploring uncomfortable topics or discussions on campus, but instead will foster an environment where difficult discussions can take place to challenge the university community, to help them grow intellectually and to allow everyone to fully and responsibly practice and promote freedom of expression and inquiry.”