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Politics, Institutional Speech, and the College Campus

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Over the past several years colleges and universities have increasingly issued institutional statements to comment on political issues, Supreme Court rulings, and cultural controversies. This approach has created an expectation for leadership to weigh in on a range of issues, drawing criticism and pressure whether they do or don’t.

How should presidents navigate these pitfalls when communicating with their campus communities, while ensuring space for civil expressions of opposing viewpoints?

Join BPC on November 16 for a conversation with college presidents about strategies for developing criteria and guidelines on institutional speech and the expressive rights of faculty and students that is appropriate to individual institutions and their mission.

Featured Participants


Michele Nellenbach | Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, BPC


Jonathan R. Alger | President, James Madison University

Ana Mari Cauce | President, University of Washington

Jonathan J. Sanford | President, University of Dallas

Lori S. White | President, DePauw University


Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill | Director, Campus Free Expression Project, BPC


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