University of Chicago professor to discuss free speech challenges

Geoffrey Stone

Free speech is a common topic on a college campus, but this Friday a speaker from the University of Chicago will provide a somewhat uncommon lens on the discussion.

Geoffrey R. Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, will explore the balance between an institution’s fundamental commitment to free and robust discourse with the equally fundamental need to nurture a community that values civility and mutual respect. The lecture is Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. in Room 175, Knight Law Center.

In his talk, “Free Speech on Campus: A Challenge in our Times,” Stone will make the case that higher education is in an era where, afraid to offend students, academic freedoms are surrendered in favor of avoiding transgressions.

Stone has been a member of the Chicago law faculty since 1973 and also served as dean of the law school and university provost. He is the author and co-author of many books on constitutional law and has been an editor of the Supreme Court Review.

In the fall of 2013, Stone served as a member of President Barack Obama’s five-member NSA Review Group, which in the wake of the Snowden disclosures advised the president and Congress on a broad range of National Security Agency surveillance programs.

The free event is open to the public and is sponsored by the UO School of Journalism and Communication, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics and School of Law. A reception will follow.