Monday, April 24, 2017

Call for Papers: Dickinson Law School--"Balancing the First Amendment With Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education"

I am happy to pass along a call for papers to what looks like an exciting conference in the works at Penn State's Dickinson Law School.  Please consider attending and, better yet, submitting a proposal, whatever your views on the subject. The issues are current and quite contentious; the solutions will tend to shape the way we understand ourselves as a nation of people guided by fair  norms expressed through law.

The Conference concept note and proposal submission information follows:


In recent years, universities have struggled to balance free speech with diversity and inclusion. This Symposium will bring together higher education administrators, law professors, lawyers and students to discuss the challenge of balancing the First Amendment with diversity and inclusion efforts on college campuses. This interdisciplinary conference builds on the Penn State University “All In” campaign for diversity and inclusion ( and seeks to foster a dialogue around managing diversity and inclusion on college campuses.

The Symposium will be held November 17-18, 2017 at Penn State Dickinson Law, Carlisle, PA and will feature Dean and Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law Erwin Chemerinsky as the Keynote speaker. In addition, papers and abstracts submitted in response to this call will be selected, and authors will be invited to present their paper or work in progress at the Symposium.

We are particularly interested in research that examines how to balance First Amendment interests with the Fourteenth Amendment interests of diversity and inclusion. We are also interested in papers and abstracts that address the topic of how to make a university more inclusive for individuals from groups that have been marginalized by higher education. Finally, we are interested in papers that examine how First Amendment interests, such as institutional mission, might impact an institution’s commitment to diversity among students, faculty and staff members. We invite papers and abstracts from law professors and other higher education professionals who are interested in issues related to campus climate and diversity scholarship, as well as scholarship surrounding academic freedom and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We also invite papers and abstracts from graduate and law students interested in this topic.

General inquiries regarding the Symposium may be addressed to the Chair of the Symposium Planning Committee, Professor Megan Riesmeyer, at or 717-241-3524.

The Symposium registration fee will be waived for invited speakers, and will cover all meals provided at the Symposium. Invited speakers must cover their own travel costs. Please submit your paper or abstract to by June 30, 2017. Registration to attend the Symposium will open soon and may be completed here:


FRIDAY, Nov. 17, 2017

8:00 a.m.     Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.     Welcome (President Barron and Dean Gildin)
9:00–10:15a.m.  Morning Panel: The State of Affairs: Current Campus Climate Challenges 
10:15–10:30a.m. . Break
10:30 a.m. – Noon.  Panel: Open to Call for Papers
12:30 p.m..   Lunch and Keynote Speaker: Erwin Chemerinsky (location: Dickinson College) 
2:30p.m.–4:00pm  Afternoon Panel: Academic Freedom
6:00p.m. Dinner for Speakers

8:00a.m.–8:45a.m.  Hot Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.   Panel: Diversity & Inclusion Strategies 
10:15a.m.–11:30a.m. .............Panel: Open to Call for Paper
11:30a.m.–11:45a.m. .............Break
Noon–1:00p.m. .................Closing Capstone Speaker and Lunch

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