Free Speech and Inclusion: How College Students Are Navigating Shifting Speech Norms
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Transforming Conflict on College Campuses

Mary Aviles, Mylien Duong, PhD, Erik Gross, Katrina Hall, Désirée Jones-Smith|February 22, 2023

Our hyper-polarized national climate has led many college and university leaders to experience an undercurrent of conflict on campuses, making it increasingly challenging to advance the mission of higher education. In partnership with The Aspen Institute's Citizenship and American Identity Program, we conducted a research project to identify common sources of conflict and provide recommendations for moving forward.

Throughout fall 2022, we completed and analyzed 22 interviews with campus stakeholders at colleges and universities across the United States, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We then held an in-person convening of the interviewees and other stakeholders so that they could exchange ideas, explore questions, and share stories of success and lessons learned regarding addressing tensions on campus. This report summarizes our findings and offers practical recommendations that campus leaders can begin implementing today.

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