Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado recently participated in an event centered around two pressing issues in higher education today: inclusion and free expression.
Sponsored by the American Council on Education, the invitation-only meeting took place on Oct. 25 at Boston University, and was the first in a series tackling the tension that sometimes exists between campus inclusion and free speech. It was attended by about 40 college and university presidents, administrators and other leaders in the higher education community.
“It was an honor to be among this group of prominent thought leaders in higher education, to explore the opportunities and challenges around the critical topics of free expression and inclusion,” Collado said. “We all share a common goal of providing the best possible academic environment for our students, and creating that environment will take a dedicated effort to lean in to difficult moments and experiences.”
The event included a discussion of higher education’s arc of engagement on free expression and inclusion, and the challenges of the current era. Attendees also broke into small groups for an exercise on the critical moments for university leaders when confronting threats to inclusion and speech.
“Our meeting illuminated the framework that outlines our efforts to balance free expression with the expectation that campuses will provide an inclusive, safe climate for learning,” Collado said. “For me, this meeting also underscored that, although we have some important work to do, our campus community at Ithaca College is on the right path as we cultivate a shared responsibility and accountability for the college’s future and our students’ success.”