Free Speech on Campus

Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman

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September 12, 2017
216 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300226560
Hardcover

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Can free speech coexist with an inclusive campus environment?

Hardly a week goes by without another controversy over free speech on college campuses. On one side, there are increased demands to censor hateful, disrespectful, and bullying expression and to ensure an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other side are traditional free speech advocates who charge that recent demands for censorship coddle students and threaten free inquiry. In this clear and carefully reasoned book, a university chancellor and a law school dean—both constitutional scholars who teach a course in free speech to undergraduates—argue that campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body but can never restrict the expression of ideas. This book provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can’t do when dealing with free speech controversies.

Erwin Chemerinsky is dean of Berkeley Law, University of California. Howard Gillman is chancellor and professor of law, political science, and history, University of California, Irvine.

“An urgent and indispensable roadmap to guide us through one of the most divisive periods in American history.”—Stephen Rohde, Los Angeles Review of Books

"A thoughtful and insightful defense both of free speech on American campuses and the need to develop and protect inclusive learning environments, plus lots of good advice for current campus leaders."—Peter McPherson, President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

"Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman have written a concise and valuable history of the evolution of freedom of speech policies and laws in the U.S….A masterful analysis of a cherished American right and a must-read for higher education leaders."—Mary Sue Coleman, President, Association of American Universities

"As free speech conflicts on college campuses seem to arise with ever greater frequency, the need for a top to bottom analysis of how to think about the topic has become all the more urgent. With this book, we finally have it, a subtle yet passionate—and easily readable—overview that should guide all students as well as the rest of us."—Floyd Abrams, author of The Soul of the First Amendment

"Balanced, comprehensive, and authoritative, Free Speech on Campus is a must-read for college administrators, scholars and practitioners of First Amendment law and activists of all political persuasions."—Joan DelFattore, author of Knowledge in the Making:  Academic Freedom and Free Speech in America’s Schools and Universities

"This timely book addresses the conflict between our commitments to academic freedom on the one hand and to the politics of diversity on the other.  It honorably defends free speech as indispensable even as it shows sympathetic regard for a wide range of student demands and sensitivities.”—Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University
 

"At a time when freedom of speech on college campuses is under serious attack, Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman offer a concise and powerful defense of academic freedom that every college administrator should read."—Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, The University of Chicago

"Cogent, concrete, and controversial, Free Speech on Campus might well help launch candid and long overdue discussions, on campuses and elsewhere, of hot button issues, including 'hate speech' codes, trigger warnings, safe spaces, threats and harassment, protests that disrupt public events, online speech, and racist symbols."—Glenn Altschuler, Huffington Post

"[A] virtue of Free Speech on Campus is its attentiveness to the history and importance of freedom of speech and thought in higher education."—Jonathan Marks, Weekly Standard

Free Speech on Campus is a well-written, valuable, and timely book which meaningfully addresses complex and difficult issues. Chemerinsky and Gillman intersperse their arguments with relevant data and rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court. They provide ways to balance the functioning of the university and the protection of the freedom of expression. It is a worthy read for faculty, students, campus administrators, and anyone who wants to understand the freedom of expression better.”—Law and Politics Book Review

“This book is a great reminder of how important First Amendment and free speech values are, and how leaders in education must foster an environment that provides and encourages controversial topics and the resulting conversations.”—Sarah K. Starnes, Law Library Journal