First Amendment; campus speech; diversity; inclusion; free speech


There are those who think that free speech and inclusivity on college campuses are inconsistent. The notion that the two values are in tension with one another has become a common framing for thinking about the modern campus. A Gallup-Knight Foundation poll of college students asked respondents not only whether they valued free speech or diversity but also to choose between them and indicate which was “more important for colleges.” When forced to choose, a substantial minority of students said they would prioritize inclusivity over the freedom to express “viewpoints that are offensive” on campus. Following the Gallup-Knight poll the American Council on Education put a similar question to college presidents. University leaders overwhelmingly insisted that if forced to choose they would prioritize allowing students “to be exposed to all types of speech.” Those pollsters were hardly alone in wanting to focus attention on “when core values collide.” Much of the debate surrounding campus free speech in recent years has assumed that choices must be made between speech and inclusivity and has moved on to argue over which should take priority. This Article proceeds in three Parts. Part I explores the need for universities to clearly articulate their position on free speech. Part II explains why it is crucial to integrate community members into an inclusive intellectual culture. And Part III identifies discrete administrative steps that must be taken to implement these policies.