Tucson Skyline and A Mountain

Welcome to the University of Arizona campus where we are committed to protecting the free speech rights of our community members and campus guests.  The role of the Dean of Students Office with the implementation and management of campus policy related to expressive speech is one we embrace and provides opportunities for our engagement with diverse communities.  I am pleased to offer the Constitutional Issues in Higher Education Symposium as a way to broaden the conversation to include more voices and dedicate time to this timely issue. 

The inaugural symposium theme, “Free Speech on Campus: Exploring Changing Dynamics” reflects the Dean of Students Office’s interest in examining, promoting, and protecting the free exchange of ideas which is foundational to academic and civic pursuits. 

As the landscape of higher education continues to rapidly change and grow, so too do forums for expression and interaction.  These dynamic opportunities for speech create interesting and novel questions, many of which are particularly nuanced for those situated in the University setting.  This symposium brings together educators and administrators, campus leaders in the areas of student government, involvement, and student-produced media, student affairs professionals, and attorneys for a day of dialogue, exploration, and reflection.

Our day together will begin with a vibrant keynote address from Erwin Chemerinsky, current and founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  Dean Chemerinsky is widely regarded as one of the foremost constitutional law scholars in the United States.  The day will continue with breakout sessions lead by national and regional experts and practitioners.

Colleagues from the Dean of Students Office, Arizona Student Media, the Office of General Counsel, and the James E. Rogers School of Law came together to plan this inaugural symposium which will become an annual event.  I thank them for their enthusiasm and dedication.  The intersections, and tensions, between constitutional principles and institutional values are boundless and I look forward to seeing this symposium grow each year to provide a much needed venue for examination and understanding.


Kendal Washington White
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students