tv Discussion on Freedom of Expression on College Campuses CSPAN January 1, 2022 5:06pm-6:10pm EST
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part of a discussion about freedom of expression on college campuses. they discussed a recent report on how universities and colleges can promote free speech and be more inclusive hosted by the bipartisan policy center. this is about one hour. -- civic engagement and leadership. academic freedom and freedom of expression are restrained and opportunities for open expression are, making it hard for students to fulfill their
mission. this is a response. it is a guide of fostering open exchange during this time of polarization and instability. the board, which approved the report unanimously, is comprised of members including a recent college graduate, civic leaders, former governors, college presidents and other academic leaders from liberal arts colleges, research universities, hbcus, and safe space institutions. we met virtually over the last year to hear from other college presidents and faculty about solutions that have worked on their campuses. these are not dry issues.
they are about navigating the practices that sustain knowledge such that every member of the community feels welcome. a few words about the center. the bipartisan policy center is a washington think tank that strives to bring security and opportunity for american families. we are the only organization registered in the district of columbia that has the word bipartisan and its name. we are working with leaders to prepare the next generation to be bipartisan leaders to forge compromise. >> what do you do with an idea? test, share, open it to criticism, refine, implement. now, freedom of expression is
losing ground at colleges, where students should be exposed to ideas and think independently. it is this spirit that helps us progress. that is why the bipartisan policy center is working with universities to foster free expression. learn more on how to tackle these issues at our website. >> conversations about -- with other academic experts, moderated by johns hopkins university's president. before i introduce them, a few words. president daniels will moderate two conversations, the first with task force cochairs, two former governors, and will the moderated conversation among lori white, ross irwin, daniel
c -- inclusion and diversity. we believe 15 minutes for questions and answers, and i encourage you and the audience to submit your comments at any point and questions for panelists using the hashtag for the chat function on youtube and facebook. it is my pleasure to introduce president daniel. his bio is available on the webpage. president daniels is a scholar of law and economics. before becoming president of johns hopkins university in 2009, he was provost at pennsylvania and dean of the faculty at the university of toronto. his book released last month shows the vital role higher
education institution roles have in liberal democracy. it is delightful he is joining us to moderate the conversation. resident daniels, thank you and over to you. president daniels: thank you. it is a pleasure and privilege to be here today and honored to be joined here today by the co-authors of the academic leaders task force on expression , governor douglas and governor gregoire, who served two terms of washington, and now ceo of challenge seattle, an alliance of the largest sector employees. jim douglas served four terms as governor of vermont, two as chair of the national governors association, and he is now executive resident -- executive in residence at middlebury college, his alma mater. thank you for being here. more than that, for the
important contribution that you're making to our sector and to debate more generally within the country. with that said, a simple starting question. whatever possessed you to take on a relatively uncontroversial issue like free expression on university campuses? who wants to start? i will use the law professor prerogative, governor douglas. gov. douglas: thank you for being part of the presentation today. i noise speak on behalf of my colleague and thanking those who gave their time and expertise the past year. i am spending time on a college campus, so i see it up close and personal, and i have become concerned about what i see and the change on campuses during the past roughly half century. i local hero, among others, when said the purpose of a college
education is to teach people not what to think, but how to think. according to recent polling data, the american people do not believe in substantial numbers that is happening. polls suggest only half of americans believe colleges are teaching young people how to think independently. there is a division politically there, too. about 70% of democrats think colleges are doing a good job and only 40% of republicans do. i cannot think of a better organization than the bipartisan center, through whom i have worked with my good friend christine gregoire on other projects the past years to take this on, and address that decline in public trust because university is where the next generation of leaders is trained to participate in citizenship beyond the campus.
i'm excited we are at the point of launching this report. gov. gregoire: i joined my colleague and saying thank you for joining us, and to all of my colleagues on this task force for a tremendous job and a great learning experience, to be honest with you. and just jackie and steve, thank you so much for your leadership. i will tell you how i came to ask them to consider the issue. it stems from an incident that took place at the university of washington in seattle, january 2017. a student invited a speaker by the name of milo to come and speak, and the president of the university received petitions to overrule the students and not allow the speaker, and she also
received petitions to reinforce that the speaker should be allowed a chance. unfortunately, it ended up in a very unfortunate incident in which an individual was shot. both the victim and the perpetrator were not students or campus members at all, but it did evolve out of the demonstration. the conclusion drawn by the community at large was in the academic realm, this is a growing problem with regards to freedom of speech, and, in fact, the question asked is, does it pose a threat to the safety and security of college campuses? i thought it was a terrible conclusion to draw, and i felt what was better to be drawn was if we are threatening freedom of speech, then our whole country is being threatened. so i took the bipartisan policy council and said, i am concerned
because i watch the president at the university of washington standalone with virtually no support once the incident took place, and being pummeled from every conceivable direction. that was january 2017. the protest was against the speaker and incoming president, and it only got hardened and more polarized since. clearly, that was not the beginning, but evidence of a trend that was going to take us down a troubling path. so they said let's gather together the best and the brightest in the country and see if we can help college presidents and descending about this for the reasons jim described. pres. daniels: i want to pick up on the point you made about the high stakes at play here, and in some sense, the background shift american society has occurred, not just the last several years
but decades. the question i would ask of both of you is to the extent that you are seeing increasingly as a more polarizing country, and increasingly a diverse array of new points across campuses that are hard to reconcile, i would be interested given both of your bipartisan instincts, can you say something about how you bridge across the differences, and in particular, i know the report is concerned with that issue, but i would be interested in your lessons as governors who have had to navigate the divide. what can we as university presidents learn from you as to how we can do this better? gov. gregoire: well, you know, i would suggest two things. number one, university presidents do not have a choice but to lead on this issue and lead confidently and squarely.
number two, they cannot allow themselves to be left alone when a crisis or problem arises. really, they need to take the lead and set the culture and values on the college campus that allows that civil discourse to take place and encourages it and provides the students and faculty with themselves also role model about how that can be done. to engage not just with the students and faculty, but to engage with the trustee, so that if they are there when an incident or problem should arise, to engage with their very own backyard community, and to engage with their legislators and governor. at the end of the day, being president of university can be a lonely job. it does not have to be, particularly in a crisis. it demands that you stand up and be supportive, so engaging, really listening, opening the doors to diverse thoughts,
cultures, religions, and all of that is a role model that the president can play. i know it is not easy. it is not easy being governor, but it is accomplishable, even in these divided times, i firmly believe it is possible, but, more importantly, i believe it is absolutely essential that we have leadership on our college campuses, public, private, whatever they may be, that says here is our culture, here is how we are going to provide the civil discourse and civil leadership for tomorrow in the country. pres. daniels: thank you. gov. douglas: that is exactly right, chris. presidents are going to have to spend capital. it requires some getting involved on a personal basis. they need to ensure the trustees, as you noted, have their backs so when circumstances arise, they have that support. it starts with adopting policies, and we have some in our report to which presidents
and other campus leaders can look for a possible example, but jan that, it requires engagement, and not just when the crisis occurs, it requires ensuring student organizations and other campus leaders know what they are going to do when that difficult circumstance arises. it requires a clear statement that there is no conflict between free expression, diversity, equity and inclusion. sometimes people think there is, but we want to make sure there is total inclusion of everyone, including ideologically on college campuses, so those are consistent goals. finally, if there is a difference or a gap between the kinds of views expressed on the college campus, the president will have to fill that gap by ensuring that different voices are heard, whether it is invitations to speak on campus, diversity among the faculty, or
whether it is students and their organizations to ensure that a variety of different views are heard. as chris indicated, it is too important to fail. this is the next generation of leaders, we have to be sure they have the tools necessary to go into their lives beyond the campus and lead our country forward. pres. daniels: before i turn it over to our next panelist, this is unfortunately a compressed time we have for today's discussion, but before we turn it over to the next panel, i really would appreciate you were talking a little bit from your perspective as governors of states where there are robust public institutions, to the extent we are seeing an increasing trend towards polarization, also now in the context of public universities being manifested on boards of trustees to say that presidents should make sure that trustees understand the commitment to have their backs.
can you be confident that those tensions do not get replicated on the board of trustees and its back and there is a risk the trustee sale to transcend their own partisan differences in these moments? do we need to worry about that? gov. douglas: yes, we should always worry. i have been a trustee of the university of vermont and other colleges, and it was ideologically diverse. we had legislators in both parties on the boards of trustees, as well. but that is why it is so difficult and so important. a student a half-century ago at middlebury college, and what is different today? more technology and better food. beyond that, there is a different climate in terms of free expression. i was the head of the young republicans, and i am an oddball and at a northeastern liberal
institution, but nobody ever suggested i should not be heard. today, people are suggesting some voices not be heard. everybody has to understand how important it is. as my friend bernie sanders once asked when a controversial speaker came to our campus, what are we afraid of? let him speak. we have to adopt that attitude and recognize that the pursuit of knowledge means being exposed to a variety of viewpoints, even some that make us feel uncomfortable. i think if we keep that objective in mind, we can find a way to get there. gov. gregoire: i agree with jim. as i view it, having been the one to appoint trustees in washington state, as they went through a pretty rigorous process with me, i was always insistent, it is your job to have the back of your precedent. if your president is not performing, replace the president. when you have that president, have their back.
the only way in which they will when it comes to the day-to-day operation is if they have a relationship between that president and trustees, that they are engaged in setting the tone and culture, and that the president is. and when the crisis happens, it is too late to establish a relationship or plan. it has to be in place. and there are some really great examples of ideas that can be battered around in the report we are presenting today, and that ought to be the subject of trustee meetings, where they can engage and see the viewpoints and difficulties associated with it. at the end of the day, it is key that a president not be left standing alone during a crisis, but that he or she has gathered a support system from the president, trustees, to the faculty, the students, to the governor, to legislators, into the community, and trustees are
a key and central component of that community and support is essential to the success of making sure the president can produce the kind of civil discourse and civic leadership that we need in this country. pres. daniels: thank you both. terrific intervention. now, i would like to broaden our panel and have three task force members who i am going to introduce to you. first, daniel colin, professor of philosophy and director of the study of liberal democracy at rhodes college and a senior fellow for constitutional studies at the jack miller center for teaching america's constitutional principles in history. ross was a founding member of bridge usa, a student led organization with depolarization at the university of california berkeley. he is now ceo of rage usa, overseeing more than 40 campus chapters. will rewrite -- lori right has
served on the board of directors for the national association of student personnel and administrators foundation. she is smiling and happy because she is currently residing briefly in baltimore, so we understand that. and these task force members are joined by kathy benson clayton, the inaugural vice president and associate provost for inclusion and diversity at auburn university and a member of the board of directors for the national association of diversity officers in higher education. before we get going, a reminder that attendees can submit questions for any panelist today using the live chat on youtube, facebook, twitter, and the hashtag. i would like to start by asking task force members to say quick word about the task force, the
conclusions, and just again tracking the broad theme of the conversation today and the work the task force has done. i would be interested in knowing after tense deliberation where you found, the one issue in which you found your moves, your views, rather, were changed by the intense interaction, the deliberation in the debate you've had the last year? again, we believe that interaction on our campuses is healthy in terms of bringing people together. not sure who once to start. >> i will be happy to start. i was not a member of the presidents club on the task force, but i often fantasized about being president for a day
and solving the problem. i was once told the best version of the committee minutes is to simply say the committee mold, and i think that is what the task force did for weeks and weeks. we mulled, which is to say without seriously and deeply about problems that we were all familiar with, but nobody believed they had a handle on. i would say what i learned most was it is a mistake, as we faculty tend to think, the faculty are the university. a great book was written a few years ago called "all the essential half-truths about higher education." each chapter was, so and so by the university, the administrators, faculty, students.
i learned a lot in hearing the presidential perspectives and what it is really like. earlier this morning, lori white was saying it has been crucial to her success as president so far that she had a background in student affairs. i think we brought different perspectives on what is working and not working on the campus, different perspectives on the needs of students, which was i think a particular thing i might have had a lined spot of with faculty tending to regard students as animals who are in their classroom and do not really exist for us outside. we think about them when they are in class and not so much
out. island a lot about getting a perspective on the other dimensions of student lives. pres. daniels: daniel, you had me at you have become more sympathetic to presidents. i heard the rest, but that is what i'm going to take from this. >> i will start by saying it was a real gift to be able to engage in dialogue with so many incredible colleagues, who represented different perspectives at the university and on the issue of freedom of expression, so, to be able to gather on a year, for us to talk about this really critically important issue as jim and christine underscored was really wonderful. and one of the places we really wrestled, and jim talked about this, was about the important foundational values of freedom of expression and diversity,
equity, and inclusion. and in going into the conversation, i do not know that everyone thought that that was going to be part of our really deep and robust conversation, which is how do we create environments that affirm that the right of every member of our community to be their full authentic selves, and be able to debate, to share, and to criticize, and at the same time, have an affirming community, were all members of our community, particularly those who have been historically marginalized, do not feel threatened by inviting speakers, as christine articulated, may not agree or who might even be dehumanizing how it is how they identify themselves. there were quite a few sessions where we wrestled with how do we
effectively articulate this in our report to not undermine either of these values and to be able to reinforce for those who read our report that we think they are important and intertwined? pres. daniels: ross? >> thank you. excuse me. i am a bit sick today, so i will hope most of my coughing is why i am muted, but to lead, president daniels, and thank you my colleagues and the task force and those not here today. i think the professor said it. i would like to amend the word mulled to be dialogue and deliberation. i think what was beautiful about working on this task force was that we were directly practicing the skills that we are asking all of the universities to go out and practice themselves. it did take a while, and there
were times where we spent maybe half an hour on one paragraph, but i think because of that, we have put together some be robust and can help a lot of campuses. what i learned a lot of was the constraints on university admin. as a student organizer, it is easy to see the administration as confining the students abilities to make changes on campus, but i have a new appreciation for the amount of stakeholders and things to consider as far as university presidents and administrations go when approaching the issues, and i know it makes me a lot more synthetic to rules -- more sympathetic to rules that i would. would not have been easily dashed thoughts would not have been easily passed on to.
-- thoughts would not have been easily passed on to. pres. daniels: you found yourself being challenged and saw the deliberations. >> we just heard lori speak about what i mentioned earlier briefly that it is the importance of ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion is consistent with the right of free expressions. we want everybody to be included ethically, every kind of demographic, but, ideologically, as well. if we have that attitude and agree everyone is important, everyone's views need to be heard and valued, then we can address these objectives that some thought initially were in conflict, but we believe strongly or not -- are not. >> i would agree with lori and jim.
it was a learning experience for me and in large part around the issue because what i see happening in our country is the country overall is struggling with this issue and not doing a good job. i fundamentally believe the answer to how we do a good job in dealing with free expression and diversity, inclusion and equity is really by marrying to an understanding that they coexist and to make sure the leadership for how we do that is present on colleges and universities, as a role model to the rest of the country that does not seem to be handling it well, and to provide the generation of tomorrow, who is prepared to do it right. pres. daniels: let me go to a question and may beat his obit in the weeds, i think it is important -- a bit in the weeds, and i think it is
important, but you state in the report there is overwhelming evidence that the intellectual climate on many college and university campuses is being constrained, directly from the report. this in itself is a question that is contested in the public sphere, especially given the overreliance on anecdote and insinuation. can you say a bit more on what evidence you found most compelling that reinforced the finding? not sure who once to take that, but -- not sure who wants to take that, but it would be good to get a sense of how you got there. >> go ahead. go ahead. >> i chatted with the university president not represented on our task force and said, you know, you don't have much diversity on your faculty. he said, well, that is not our objective, but let me explain how it happens because new
positions, when they are open, are filled by the existing faculty, so it is a perpetuation of the views of those who are already there. i think one important consideration is we need to have a diversity of views on college faculty and to some degree, many institutions, that is not the case now. that is one factor that certainly affected my thinking. >> i would say that the data reinforced what had been my observations over time. i have been in higher education the last 40 years. over the course of time, i have noticed this moving away from intellectualism on college campuses, driven in large part by students and parents looking at college education as a means to employment and not necessarily as a means to spark
one's intellect. also, the data reinforced for me the data that talked about when students want to argue a point. it is about their lived experiences, how they feel about something, it is not necessarily about the data and research, and that compels us to one of our important emendations, which is that we have to give students the tools to be able to engage in the kind of debate and intellectual conversation that we want to see happen on our college campuses, to imagine we would take young people who have grown up primarily in homogeneous environments, throw them into a college campus setting, and expect for them to figure out how they are supposed to debate differently. what is important is we need to think about how we introduce the concepts to our students and how
we give them the tool to engage in an intellectual conversation we would like to see happen on our college campuses. pres. daniels: thank you. anyone else want to chime in, or should -- can i throw you a neck question? ross, we would love to hear from you. >> i think one of the foremost sources i looked at his the freedom of expression report that puts out surveys for students year after year and has been collecting data on how students feel about expressing their views. in 2020, 60 2% of students said they believed the campus environment stop people from expressing their true feelings. that was up 7% from 2019. if that continues in six years, you have 100% of people saying they were unwilling to share
their views on campus. that is incredibly concerning. it should not be over 25%. students should feel comfortable expressing their beliefs. i just talked to chapter leaders across this country who are working on creating spaces for freedom of expression and diversity. time after time, they see students on those campuses feel refreshed, and they are challenged with different views and hear from different types of people and are safe to express their own opinion. those two together make the case for me that this is a big problem, and not only is it a big problem, but it is getting worse year after year. >> that is also influenced by social media, and the data that says one of the reasons students are hesitant to speak up and out is because they are afraid that they are going to be socially ostracized by their peers on
social media, and faculty are also afraid, as well, that if they say something controversial or are perceived as controversial, somebody has their videophone, and it will post all over social media, so that also influences the data also talked about that is concerning to all of us. >> can i build on that discussion and -- pres. daniels: can i build on that discussion and maybe probe a bit the paradox you describe in the report that are campuses in so many ways the last several decades have become more diverse in a number of different dimensions we have moved from campuses, seen waves of our religious diversity, racial diversity, increasingly more and more institutions are becoming
acutely aware of socioeconomic diversity, so there is a paradox that you described that campuses are more diverse than ever but we have a spirit of conformity that you see as being really important in shaping or limiting the scope of this course. again, do you put most of this at the feet of social media? how do we understand the paradox? >> ron, i suggest this, there was a certain inflection of the meaning of inclusion that can become a problem when one loses sight of the question, inclusion can be done precisely. what i have in mind has mentioned already that there is
a sense among students a lot of the time that, you know, their role is to somehow represent their identity, that being included in that representative function, but i think what we are aiming at, ultimately, is joining together equally in an enterprise that transcends identity, where your demographic identity does not confer on you any system illogical privilege, and i think what we try to articulate was a culture of free expression and open inquiry is going to be inhibitive. when students think the challenge of fellow students opinions or judgment about something is tantamount to disrespecting their identity. i think what we are trying to say is that the reconciliation
of inclusion and free-speech principles rest on this acknowledgment that people remind themselves all the time that what we are doing is including everybody in the common enterprise of knowledge seeking and knowledge production . in that regard, there is a real sense in which you are checking your identity at the door of the classroom and that what we want to hear are your judgments, and they are neither qualified nor disqualified of the particular identity that you have. pres. daniels: i am going to ask, just a random person who is not on the panel for her reaction, albeit a random but expert, who will be charged with
responding to, as we all will be, to this report in trying to think about whether it is actionable and in fact we can thread the needle in terms of balancing the need for a vigorous commitment to expression and simultaneously look at diversion inclusion values. so dr. benson, we are grateful you are here. could you talk a little bit about, first and foremost, what you see as noteworthy in this report for your campus? but, also, how when it comes down to having to navigate difficult conversations, and let's put an obvious one on the table, think about the appropriateness, the role for affirmative action. this is an issue that has laid out in the halls of congress and is being played out in our court
system, yet, on campuses, this is often a third real issue when it is discussed. how do we, based on what we were told, how do we spread the needle and make sure we have good conversations that ultimately are robust but nevertheless do not have the effect of undermining a sense of belonging on the part of all the participants in the conversation? so two questions, first reaction and then the hard example. >> reaction to the report, which i will think through and talk about quickly, while i am not a member of the task force, i feel connected to the effort by having participated in the leading the weight free expressions in 2019 to discuss an article i co-authored in the journal of dispute resolution about establishing a strategy for free expression. from my perspective, looking at
the report and the totality and the recommendations, the acknowledgment of the new influences on influences for our students was they recheck campuses and is helpful. it is important that simple discourse has changed. it is more charged, additionally from the experiences of gen z and adolescence, there is a difference in terms of in some cases, they are growing up in a homogenous environment with less exposure to diverse ways of thinking and doing. there is the impact of social media that has been interested and discussed, and the conceived incompatibility of free expression, which i will speak to moran a moment. i really do think that outlining these realities and explaining the influence was important for
understanding for campus leaders. i do think that this is a very helpful roadmap. i like the way the recommendations were constituency based. i think it will be helpful for campuses and leaders to be able to apply and adapt these recommendations in ways that meet the essence of their institutional mission and their culture. i also say -- it will not surprise you -- was definitely pleased to see the first recommendation about leaders needing to extend leadership capital to support this, and, also, the star recommendation which i like so much because i do not think these kinds of what i see at least, the principles of free speech, diversity, equity and inclusion coexisting
has not been discussed. sometimes they are not broached, certainly not with clarity and depth. i want to quote this, if i can, and then i will get to your second question. act a time when some doubt commitment to free expression is not compatible with diversity and inclusion, leaders should make the case that freedom of expression is ultimately liberalizing an inclusive force. you may know i am quoting dr. white here. at the same time, university leaders must remember that students need to feel fully included in the campus community before they feel safe to confront ideas with which they disagree. a free expression culture depends on trust and a respectful learning environment for all. to your point of how we can to engage these issues on our campus, where issues like
affirmative action are considered third real, i see them as integral. i don't think academic institutions today cannot stay straight ahead the issues of diversity, equity and inclusions to include matters of the former affirmative action officer of affirmative action. these are the kinds of necessary tools we use to ensure we get the kind of mix on our campuses, be it for students or employees that make our learning environment excellent, and in many cases, make them electric, right? what meets the intellectual curiosity we see? can we talk about what the kind of classroom experiences and debate should be? it is hard for me to separate them out, and i understand people do, but this work is mission minded. it is mission centered, and it
is absolutely integral to the missions of our institutions, and, really, the success of our students and our institutions. pres. daniels: before we move on, because there are questions that are coming in, let me really follow up on this issue potentially between freedom of expression and respectful learning environment and how we simultaneously honor these ideas and the way that you just addressed, but either others on the panel who want to address this? president white, for instance? >> dr. benson clayton, well said, and thank you for quoting me, but you're really quoting the members of the task was. president daniels, if you are ok, i would like to respond to
your question in the first question that has been offered in the chat because i think they are related. how can college leaders address tension between freedom of expression and respectful learning environment if some expression marginalizes groups in the campus community? in our report, we underscore that this is not easy work, and that it has been said before, presidents really have to use their capital to be able to convey why this is so important, and model ways in which we might respond. for example, on my campus most recently, we had a professor who used the n word, not directed toward an individual student, but in the bounds of classroom conversation, quoting somebody
else who used the n word in describing others, and students took offense and asked if i would ban the word on campus. i said, no, i am not banning the word, let me tell you why. i went on to talk about it as an english major, there are books i have read that use that word that i certainly would not want and in a classroom. there are videos i have used that use that word, which can also be used to classroom teaching, and i certainly would not want to have to intervene where someone was playing rap music in their dorm room where that word was being used. i also said, however, the word, i would not use it, i would not encourage others to use it, and there may be situations in a classroom setting where that word may be in its center those
are ways in which we can convey that there are certain words for certain speakers we don't support but we defend the right of the campus to invite the speaker or of the professor to choose particular material, and why that is important. pres. daniels: so, we have a question that has now come in that i will leave this open to any member of the committee, but maybe ross might want to think about responding earlier, which is, how discussions with students on free expression help should be recommendations? -- help shape your recommendations? >> a lot of the recommendations in the report are basically creating a campus that is more welcoming freedom of expression, right? in my experience, and i conveyed
this to the task force was students would like to be able to speak their views and feel like they are at home at the university under welcome to debate and discuss the ideas. we have to feel like that is welcome. many part of the recommendations in the report are talking about creating a kind of more welcoming campus environment for that. and to go back to what the professor said, i am biased, but i think students are the university. the whole reason we are there is to educate students. we are not engaging students, and if we are not working with them, things are not going to be changing. the other thing i would like to quickly hearth on is this is a culture issue. you cannot mandate that people have diversity. this is not going to work.
this is a long process where you are looking for faculty, administrators, and eventually students who support listening to other people and support the idea of free expression so that campus culture as a whole can be welcoming to those ideas, as well. pres. daniels: other thoughts from any other members of the panel? >> i would add something to that. i saw a question in the chat that was addressed to how one might go without promoting viewpoint diversity in the classroom. of course, the first thing you have to do is build it in to your course. i think more importantly, one has to remind, and this is something the report tries to do by using the expression, embrace viewpoint and diversity. we have to remind ourselves that the biases that most deflect as
in a knowledge seeking community are the cognitive biases we all come with, the tendency of individuals and communities to want to adjust, you know, stay within the comfort zone of their existing opinions. if it is going to be a knowledge community, it has got to value skepticism and seek out controversy. it has got to invite arguments. it has got to disrupt that creedal comfort that we all leapt into, and that is the great value. i don't think it is the solution to what ails campus culture, but there is this enduring argument
that reminds us of the tendency to blast into orthodxy. unless that is disrupted, that is what we are going to get because it is difficult to tolerate an idea or an opinion that upsets you, but you cannot be part of the knowledge producing activity if you are going to immunize yourself or try to shield yourself from suffering that kind of provocation. indeed, again, you actually need to seek out the disagreement. that is the only way the knowledge business amounts to anything. >> other people, so, somehow, if somebody has an idea that we vehemently disagree with, we
disagree not only with the idea, but we think the person who has offered the idea is awful and bad, and, so, our challenges also to figure out how you really can be an affirming community, a community built on trust such that if dan and i have a contentious argument, we can still leave the room and go out and have a bite to eat with one another and not say that we forever have to stand in the opposite corners of the university. and we are nowhere near that yet, but in order for us to have a spirit of freedom of expression on campus, you have to figure out a way to get to that place. pres. daniels: go ahead, daniel. >> eight friend of mine had a motto that i think is a good 1 -- a friend of mine had a motto that i think is a good one. you are in a heated debate with someone, you argue, i do not
think you are feeble, i merely think you are mistaken, give your reasons. as laurie said, separate reasons from the person. that is the fundamental principle of arguments. we have lost the practice of that, i think, on campus, too often. pres. daniels: we have a question now from john wilson. should colleges create centers and programs to devote to the study of free expression in order to have a commitment to freedom? do we need a dissenter? do we need a specific program initiative around this issue in order to meet the aspirations that you have dictated in your report? >> i am not sure we need a center, but one of the things we have done as a result of the
speaker we had was launch a critical conversation theory where we invited viewpoints, diversity experts, professors, and when they visited, i agree to be a part of the panel he was doing on open mics, so we partnered with other academies with our office of inclusion and diversity, and all scholars. and this platform is designed -- you all know -- we polarize communities and really affect mutual understanding. we have now 250 students who have gone through that experience, and it has been an impact point for our campus. some of it is taking advantage of the tools available out there now and engaging them on your campus. pres. daniels: we are almost at an end, but i do want to return
to the two cultures. hi -- two cochairs. i am sympathetic to the arguments you have been making. they have been thoughtfully and cogently set out in the report, but is there any part of you that worries that some of the reaction might be, yeah, we have heard the argument, we are not persuaded. that is to say -- i think for a lot of us, the concern here is that we have not done a good job of making the argument for free speech, and the important foundational role plays in democracy, but i think i can well imagine there will be some people, even after they hear the argument, they will say, i am not convinced. i think you got the balance wrong in terms of how you are thinking about the individual rights, the dignity to be free from inflows. they will say the united states
is obsolete is when it comes to first amendment protection, and other countries like my home country, canada, pecs -- repeat your choices good patron. is there any part of you that fears that the argument will not have purchased to a certain generation and they are not buying the argument? sorry to leave on a sober note, but i think it is important to ask. >> first of all, anyone who has that point of view, i continue to respect and would be happy to have a bite to eat with him or her. but, we have a specific skills deficit in this country, and we have got to find a solution. if it is not this, then what? otherwise, we are going to continue to have disruption, rancor, the kind of polarization that leads us to want to find a solution. we had one episode on our campus where a professor was injured in the mealy that followed of the shouting down of a speaker.
we have to find a path forward, and whether it is a separate center or another approach, we have to elevate the skills of citizenship to be an important objective of higher education. i think if we agree on the goal, ron, we can figure out what the best path is to achieve it, but i hope we can agree that we need a more civil society, eight more civil discourse, and an opportunity for people to express themselves and seek knowledge in a community that respects everyone's point of view. >> i agree. you know, democracy is kind of difficult, to say the least. freedom of expression, i happen to be a lawyer, and freedom of expression has been an issue for the u.s. supreme court on how many different occasions? it is still evolving and growing. it is still maturing, and, now, it is really being challenged by diversity, equity, and
inclusion, and rather than say to someone, ok, we fundamentally disagree and i am done with you, that is not the answer. continue to include that individual, continue to grow, continue to mature and understand fundamentally democracy, while challenging, is the best in the world. freedom of expression is the foundation of success in this country and on colleges and universities, and if we as a country want a better tomorrow, then it lies fundamentally with our youth, and there we can create those who understand, those that can provide civic leadership, those who can make sure that there is respect, alive and well, who can disagree without being disagreeable. that to me is the future, that is colleges and universities, that is what i am appreciative of your moderating today, all the folks on the task force, all of those who did contribute to
the bipartisan policy council, and particularly, this is the beginning of a new day for civic responsibility and leadership in the country. i hope our college and university presidents across the country will see if their leadership and responsibility -- to see it is there charge for leadership and responsibility is better tomorrow than today. pres. daniels: thank you. over to you. dr. merrill: thank you. thank you to ronald daniels, task force members,1, --chris gregoire, pete wehner, and the panel. thank you for joining us. this is available for download on our website, bipartisanpolicy.org. the task force members will share the report in the weeks ahead and signing at a variety of symposium forums, including
at the upcoming conference, the lutheran education conference,, and we plan events at six usa college chapters across the country, and events and engagements with college presidents who are elected in office, including the former u.s. representative stephanie samberg, and the bellevue college interim president and former governor gary locke. again, the report is available for download at bipartisanpolicy.org. you can reach the task force bite writing to us at the email address. all of us at the bipartisan policy center are wishing you those on college campuses the best for the spring 20 22 semester. we know it has been a challenging 2021, so we are
wishing you the best to return to a more normal academic setting. thank you our audience and joining us today. best wishes for the holidays. than >> on september 20, 2010, as a bell workers and -- isabel workers and spoke to us about her book. the book is about the migration experiences of three people who became representative of the larger whole which was essentially the defection of 6 million african-americans from the south to the north to the midwest and the west from 1915, near world war i, through 1970, when the south began to truly change. >> on this episode of notes plus. it is available on