Faculty Senate hosts a forum on academic freedom and free expression

The Western Washington University Faculty Senate will host a forum on academic freedom and free expression Thursday, March 14 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Zoom

Speakers will include: 

Jennifer Ruth, associate dean in the College of the Arts and a professor in the School of Film at Portland State University. She is a contributing editor for Academe Blog and the author, with Michael Bérubé, of It’s Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic FreedomShe has written about academic freedom and higher education in such publications as The New Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Ms. and is a co-editor, with Ellen Schrecker and Valerie Johnson, of The Right to Learn: Resisting the Right-Wing Attack on Academic Freedomto be published by the Beacon Press in the spring of 2024.

Thomas Merrill, associate professor of Government in the School of Public Affairs and the chair of the Faculty Senate (AY 2024-25) for American University. A political theorist, he is the author of Hume and the Politics of Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2015) and a co-editor of The Political Thought of the Civil War (University of Kansas Press, 2018). He directs AU’s Lincoln Scholars Program, a core texts certificate program for first and second year students, and is a co-editor of the journal American Political Thought. In 2021-22 Merrill was the faculty co-chair of AU’s Working Group on Free Expression, which drafted the university’s Policy on Freedom of Expression and Expressive Conduct and AU’s Statement of Values on Free Expression. He is currently faculty co-chair of AU’s new Working Group on Free Expression, which is considering the university’s free expression commitments in the light of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

The event will also include a discussion and Q&A session moderated by Professor of Economics Brandon Dupont, president of the Faculty Senate.