The First Amendment on College Campuses

April 16, 2021 from 12pm-2pm

The Thompson Center was pleased to host a virtual conference that examines the First Amendment and its role on college campuses today. The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. How can college campuses best address and protect those liberties? This conference included prominent speakers who discussed the First Amendment on campus and its relationship to other university goals.


  • Carlos Cortés, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of History, University of California, Riverside, former fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, and author of Free Speech: Fostering Civic Engagement at the Intersection of Diversity and Expression
  • Greg Lukianoff, J.D., President of FIRE and author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Freedom From Speech, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure, and FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus
  • Suzanne Nossel, J.D., Chief Executive Officer of international human rights and free expression organization PEN America, former Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights Watch, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations under the Obama Administration, and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All and contributor to PEN America’s 2019 report entitled Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America
  • Christina Olstad, Ed.D., Dean of Students, University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has over twenty years of experience in higher education administration as former Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Housing & Residence Life at Towson University, former Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs at Towson University, and positions at Augsburg University, the University of New England, the University of Vermont, and Semester at Sea
  • Robert Mark Simpson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University College London and author of The Relation Between Academic Freedom and Free Speech

Moderator: Daniel Tokaji, J.D., Fred W. & Vi Miller Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and scholar in the areas of voting rights, free speech and democratic inclusion

This event was approved for 2.0 CLE credits. This event was cosponsored by the American Enterprise Institute Executive Council at UW-Madison.