Just Released: ‘A Framework for Campus Crisis Management’

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This detailed guide from the Institute for Humane Studies, a national academic institution working with scholars across the country, offers practical advice for university leaders navigating campus free speech concerns.

“We haven’t met a single academic leader who feels fully prepared to take on speech-related campus crises,” said Emily Chamlee-Wright, President and CEO of IHS.

As the 2017-18 academic year draws to a close, the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) is suggesting an addition to an academic leader’s summer reading list. The “Framework for Campus Crisis Management” is a how-to guide that provides practical, principled advice on managing speech-related crises that arise on college campuses.

The past year has seen university and college campuses across the country struggle to handle free speech-related challenges, where both student and community responses have led to well-publicized protests and violence, with many of these incidents chronicled on social media and by local and national news outlets.

“Every year we partner with and support thousands of scholars at hundreds of campuses across the country, and we haven’t met a single academic leader who wants to, and feels fully prepared, to take on speech-related campus crises,” said Emily Chamlee-Wright, President and CEO of IHS, and one of the authors of the guide. “At the same time, no college or university president has the luxury to avoid the question of how she or he will respond in the face of such a crisis. We hope our Framework document can serve as a helpful resource when these situations arise.”

The Framework lays out how preparation, clear communication, and appropriate engagement with community stakeholders can help to defuse tense situations before they escalate and potentially become dangerous. It also addresses new legal frontiers pertaining to academic freedom and harassment law, questions related to concealed carry laws, and the vexing challenge for many administrations of managing the costs associated with providing security for controversial speakers.

The guidance contained in the Framework is principled, meaning it adheres to First Amendment protections, academic freedom, and a strong commitment to higher education’s mission as centers of intellectual exploration and discovery. But it is also deeply practical, drawing from legal rulings and examples of academic leaders who have successfully navigated speech-related tensions. Academic leaders should be able to immediately apply the guidance within the Framework to prepare for and manage speech related-crises when they inevitably occur on their own campuses.

An array of talent co-authored the Framework, which follows the IHS’s free speech policy guide release last year. Combining scholarly, administrative, and boots-on-the-ground crisis management expertise, the lineup includes a nationally recognized First Amendment Scholar, higher education leaders, and a Chief of Police from a major university.

“If you are an academic leader concerned about how to create a campus culture that is physically safe, intellectually stimulating, and in which students and faculty respect intellectual differences, this guide is for you,” said Donald Downs, a recognized expert on campus free speech issues and one of the developers of the Framework.

The Framework was developed by:

Dr. Donald Downs, the Alexander Meiklejohn Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, co-founder of the Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy, and co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom and Rights. Dr. Downs is the author of Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus, as well as many other books and scholarly articles. He is a Senior Fellow at IHS.

Chief Kristen Roman, with the UW-Madison Police Department. Prior to joining UWPD, Chief Roman spent 26 years with the City of Madison Police Department. While at the City of Madison Police Department, Chief Roman was appointed as the first captain to oversee the Community Outreach Section within the department.

Dr. George Waldner, the President Emeritus of York College. Prior to his time at York College, he served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Wilkes University as well as the Provost and Faculty Member in Political Science at Oglethorpe University. He is a Senior Fellow at the IHS.

Dr. Emily Chamlee-Wright, President and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies. Prior to joining IHS, she served from 2012 to 2016 as Provost and Dean at Washington College and was previously the Elbert H. Neese Professor of Economics and Associate Dean at Beloit College. Dr. Chamlee-Wright earned her PhD in economics from George Mason University and has published six books on topics including liberal education, culture and economics, and post-disaster recovery.

About the Institute for Humane Studies
IHS is the leading institute in higher education dedicated to championing classical liberal ideas and the scholars who advance them. At IHS, we believe the principles of the classical liberal tradition – including individual liberty and responsibility, limited government, economic freedom, the rule of law, free speech, and open inquiry – are the foundation of a just and prosperous world. And we believe that for those ideas to take root, they must be taught, explored, and challenged in higher education. That’s why we have built the foremost community of scholars across the country who are leading the advancement of classical liberal principles. We are a partner throughout their academic careers, offering guidance, resources, and access to a passionate, supportive community. To find out more please visit https://theihs.org/

Twitter: @TheIHS
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-chamlee-wright/

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