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Calendar Item: MU School of Law to Host First Amendment Symposium

Story Contact(s):
Liz McCune,, 573-882-6212


The University of Missouri School of Law will host a symposium to explore methods of preparing for, managing and mediating conflicts arising from fostering free expression on college campuses. By bringing together free speech scholars, dispute resolution experts and university leaders who have experience with free speech conflicts, MU School of Law experts hope to advance the public’s understanding of how university leaders can remain true to both the mission of the university and the values of the First Amendment.

Speakers feature individuals who have been on the front lines of free speech issues in a university setting, including officials from Auburn University, Middlebury College and the University of Missouri. The keynote speaker is constitutional law expert Robert Post of Yale University.

The symposium is sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Law; the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution; and the Journal of Dispute Resolution, which is the center’s journal. The journal will publish papers from participants in a forthcoming symposium issue.


Hulston Hall, MU campus


Friday, Oct. 27

Introductions and welcome begin at 9 a.m.

Concluding comments and adjournment are at 4:45 p.m.

The full agenda is below.


The symposium is open to the public. Media are encouraged to RSVP with Liz McCune from the MU News Bureau by calling (573) 882-6212 or emailing

9 a.m.              Introductions and Welcome

Lyrissa Lidsky

Dean and Judge C.A. Leedy Professor, MU School of Law

Rafael Gely

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, and James E. Campbell Missouri Endowed Professor, MU School of Law

Robert Jerry

Isidor Loeb Professor of Law, Symposium Co-Director, MU School of Law

9:10 a.m.         Session 1: Framing the Issue; Narratives of Actual Experiences and Outcomes

Framing: Opening Remarks

Articulating a Frame for the First Amendment, the University and Conflict Management

Chris Wells

Enoch H. Crowder Professor of Law, Symposium Co-Director, MU School of Law

9:30 a.m.         Panel: Narratives and Outcomes (Moderator: Robert Jerry)

A Narrative: University of Missouri

Evonnia Woods, Ph.D.-candidate

University of Missouri, Department of Sociology; Member, MU Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protest, Public Spaces, Free Speech and the Press

A Narrative: Auburn University

Taffye Benson Clayton

Vice President and Associate Provost for Inclusion and Diversity, Auburn University

Julie Huff

Director, Office of Strategic Initiatives and Communications, Office of the Provost, Auburn University

A Narrative: Middlebury College University

Baishakhi Banerjee Taylor

Dean of Students and Lecturer in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Middlebury College

11 a.m.             Break

11:15 a.m.       Session 2: Keynote Remarks

(Convenor: Chris Wells)

Freedom of Speech in the University

Robert Post

Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School

12:30 p.m.       Break for Lunch

The conference luncheon is a ticket event at the MU Student Center, room 2206. See link for details.

1:45 p.m.         Session 3: Dispute Resolution Perspectives

(Convenor: Chris Wells)

Panel: What Does Dispute Resolution Scholarship Inform Us About Free Speech Conflict on College Campuses? (Moderator: Rafael Gely)

Introduction to the Panel: Dean Lyrissa Lidsky

Lisa Blomgren Amsler

Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service, Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Jennifer Gerarda Brown

Dean and Professor of Law, Quinnipiac University School of Law

Grande Lum

Director, Divided Community Project and Adjunct Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

3:15 p.m.         Break

3:30 p.m.         Session 4: Identifying Next Steps and Best Practices

Stakeholders Roundtable (Moderator: Ben Trachtenberg, MU Law Associate Professor)

Terry Amsler

Adjunct Instructor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Jacob Appelsmith

Adviser to the Governor and Director, California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; former General Counsel, University of California-Davis

Azhar Majeed

Vice President of Policy Reform, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

Douglas Schwandt

Chief, University of Missouri Police Department

Patricia Telles-Irvin

Vice President for Student Affairs, Northwestern University

Howard Wasserman

Professor of Law, Florida International University College of Law

4:45 p.m.         Concluding Comments and Adjournment (Gely, Jerry and Wells)