“Free speech and inclusion on campus” marks the topic of a Foley Distinguished Lecture to be presented by Howard Gillman, a leading constitutional scholar and chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, 5 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Compton Union Building Auditorium.

Gillman’s lecture is sponsored by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at WSU, https://foley.wsu.edu.

Recent events involving controversial speakers and groups at the University of Virginia, University of California at Berkeley, University of Washington, and elsewhere have raised concern about how university communities can protect freedom of speech while also ensuring an environment of educational equality, free from hate and harassment.

Should the expression of certain types of ideas ever be restricted at a university? Should faculty be punished for expressing controversial views inside or outside the classroom? How should administrators respond to provocative and contentious speakers?

Foley Institute LogoAn award-winning author and teacher, Gillman holds academic appointments in the departments of law, political science and history. Among his books are “The Constitution Besieged” (1993), “Supreme Court Decision-Making” (1999 edited with Cornell Clayton, WSU professor of political science and director of the Foley Institute), “The Votes That Counted: How the Court Decided the 2000 Presidential Election” (2001), and “American Constitutionalism” (2012, with Mark Graber and Keith Whittington). He also co-edited two other volumes and authored more than 40 articles and book chapters.

Gillman’s most recent book is “Free Speech on Campus” (2017), coauthored with Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the College of Law at UC, Berkeley. The book examines the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions to students, faculty and administrators, about what colleges can and cannot do when dealing with controversial speakers and ideas.

Chancellor Gillman is also heavily involved with the University of California’s National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, located in Washington, D.C., which brings together people of different backgrounds, experiences and views from across the country to apply the best legal, social science, journalistic and other research, along with real world experience, to inform free speech and civic engagement policies on campuses, in state legislatures and in Washington, D.C.

The Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Lecture Series is committed to spreading powerful ideas. Its purpose is to broaden the educational experience of WSU students and the surrounding community by bringing engaging and influential opinion leaders to campus to encourage thought-provoking discussions.

The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service is a nonpartisan public policy institute, located at WSU Pullman, focused on bringing world-class speakers for public events; supporting student internships in public service; and supporting scholarly research on public policy and political institutions.



  • Richard Elgar, assistant director, Foley Institute, 509-335 3477, relgar@wsu.edu