At the University of Louisville, a student engages in “anti-gay pampleteering,” raising questions about protected speech and institutional responsibility to intervene on behalf of marginalized groups. At Pepperdine, a student’s senior art exhibit is moved from the campus gallery due to its depiction of nude females. At Middlebury College, the challenges of navigating controversial speech are well-known, as the institution disinvited, and then re-invited, Charles Murray.
Issues around controversial speech and expression have pressured colleges and universities to examine and articulate their values. Using the case examples as a jumping off point, we will explore how colleges and universities weigh the conduct, activities, and expression deemed permissible on their campus, and how public and private settings impact these considerations.