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2023 PEN America Workshops for faculty, staff

As part of “Listen. Learn. Lead.” Week, PEN America is offering workshops for faculty and staff on Thursday, March 30. The workshops will address the most pressing issues facing college campuses in the realm of free speech and academic freedom. Each session stands alone, or they can be taken together. All faculty and staff are invited. Please register in advance.

Learn more about the sessions

Thursday, March 30, Student Union, Room 362

This session will drill into the tensions between free speech, academic freedom and inclusion and how they play out with faculty and students. While it can feel impossible to uphold both, faculty, staff, and campus leaders can work toward this ideal with the right framework and tools. Included in this session are strategies for complaints against faculty speech both inside and outside of the classroom, tools for navigating difficult conversations when speech has caused offense, and restorative approaches to speech challenges on campus. Through the use of scenarios shaped from recent campus controversies, participants will work in small groups to strategize responses using tools to uphold principles of free speech, academic freedom, and inclusion on campus.

This session is designed to equip campus leaders, faculty, and staff with de-escalation strategies for tense, politicized, or emotional moments that can be unexpected but often need to be addressed in order to maintain an open and respectful campus climate. Tense moments that will be addressed include speakers on campus, fliers/chalking, and hecklers. By the end of the session participants will leave with tools for engaged listening and how to respond with effective communications after tense moments occur. Participants will collaborate on responses through scenarios guided by PEN America facilitators.

This session is designed to explain the authority of professors in the classroom to set expectations, community standards for communication, and assessments based on information integrity, disciplinary standards, and learning objectives. Participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences with classroom management and assessment. We will also discuss concrete tools for classroom activities that can elicit student engagement and open exchange across viewpoints, while also supporting active listening, nuanced dialogue, and community building.

Please register