Washington, D.C.– Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center announced it is launching the Campus Free Expression Project. The project aims to develop campus policies and programs that foster a safe and welcoming environment for robust intellectual discourse.
In recent years, higher education institutions have been roiled by protests against speakers and faculty, a lack of intellectual diversity, and a climate of self-censorship. This trend has led a majority of Americans to believe higher education is moving in the wrong direction.
“America’s future leaders must have the desire and civic skills to work through disagreements and find ways to move our country forward,” said BPC president Jason Grumet. “In these polarized times, colleges and universities can play a vital role by modeling the free and open exchange of ideas.”
The project will be led by Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill. She is the former executive director of the Fund for Academic Renewal at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, and previously served on the faculties of St. John’s College and the College of William & Mary.
“Colleges and universities hold a special place in our republic,” said Pfeffer Merrill. “They prepare the next generation of leaders by introducing them to concepts and research that will both challenge and empower them to be informed, engaged, and thoughtful citizens.”
BPC will draw on a diverse set of university and policy leaders to create policy recommendations, white papers, and convene events on campuses across the country over the coming year.
Steven Hayward, senior resident scholar at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Government Studies, will advise the project, and has joined BPC as fellow.