Dear Campus Community:
As you may be aware, two men have been on campus for the last two days espousing their views and opinions on a host of issues. As a public university, we are following state and university free speech and public access policies. We will be exploring several things in the coming weeks - an understanding of when such public access becomes disruptive to our campus and learning community and the boundary between opinion and hate speech. I am requesting that we include this topic in one of our upcoming Critical Conversations. Although complex, these are important issues for our campus and broader society.
Finally, I want to say thank you to our entire campus, including students, faculty and staff for your patience, tolerance and recognition of the importance of free speech in a democratic society. As noted above, we will be discussing, as a campus, the boundaries around disruption of our learning environment, along with the issue of hate speech. I also would like to thank our police officers for their patient and appropriate efforts to safeguard not only our community members but those offering controversial views on our campus. These are precisely the kinds of issues to be discussed and debated in the life of a vibrant university, sometimes passionately.
M. David Rudd
President | Distinguished University Professor