When we first launched this blog, we hoped we might invite colleagues whom we admire and respect to contribute on occasion. We’re delighted to share with you today a guest essay by Michael J. Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke University. We invited him to write because we saw that Duke is doing some interesting programming to explore issues around freedom of speech and climate more thoughtfully, when the campus is not responding to an incident. Every campus is grappling with free expression issues in some fashion, and we thought colleagues might appreciate some perspective from Mike on this important topic.
Michael J. Schoenfeld
It is perhaps a great irony that one of the most difficult subjects for us to talk about is free speech, particularly the version that is the subject of attention on campus, in the media and across the internet. That colleges and universities, and the communicators at them, should have such a challenge conveying compelling messages about this fundamental standard is perhaps not surprising:
Activists on the right and left, and every point in between, have weaponized freedom of speech by staking out the most extreme positions, and painting any opposition to their position as wrong, dangerous and even evil. Continue reading →
Summer is retreat season — time for colleges and universities, schools, departments, and centers to go off for a few hours (or days) and plan for the future. While some people enjoy this exercise, many others roll their eyes and anticipate hours of fidgeting while surreptitiously checking their phones.
But suffering is not inevitable. Facilitated well, a retreat can be inspiring, clarifying and productive.
January is the time when we say good-bye to the previous 12 months and look ahead to the next ones. It’s clear that 2016 was an especially turbulent year for higher education. What’s on tap for 2017? Read our essay in Inside Higher Education on the top trends that college and university leaders should be prepared for in 2017.
We are steadily adding subscribers for The Scan, our daily and weekly newsletter of trends affecting higher education. As new recipients join us, I thought it might be useful to explain why we started this newsletter and how we imagine it helping you.
The two of us are voracious readers, but we also know what it’s like to be busy leaders who are inundated with information. Our first goal is to help university leaders, administrators and faculty cut through the clutter and identify key developments that may be relevant to your decision-making.