Regulating Speech and Expression in Higher Education: What You Can and Cannot Censor Under the First Amendment

Event ID:15474

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CD Only                $349.00 includes recorded presentation, slides, and Q&A
Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter: Kathleen Conn, of counsel, King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC
Price: $349.00, CD includes full audio presentation, question and answer session and presentation slides. CD subject to a $5.95 handling charge.
Who Should Attend? Administrators, deans, provosts, human resources departments, in-house counsel, student services, support staff, residential staff, faculty
Best For: Higher Education

The 2014 actions of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to rescind its offer of a tenured teaching position to Steven Salaita after his tweets critical of Palestine reignited the controversy over academic freedom and regulating professorial speech. Regulating student speech on campus, in school newspapers, and online is also fraught with controversy. Since the Supreme Court in 1969 in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District affirmed that neither teachers nor students abandon their freedom of speech and expression at the schoolhouse gate, both teachers and students have vigorously claimed First Amendment protection for all aspects of speech and expression, on campus, in hard copy, and online. However, while claiming this protection, the First Amendment may be the most misunderstood of all guarantees of American freedoms.

Please join attorney Kathleen Conn for a presentation that will evaluate the current state of freedom of speech and expression in higher education and how the First Amendment has been applied to speech and expression of faculty members and students in public colleges and universities. Understand your rights to regulate what your staff and students express and what failure to comply can mean for your institution.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • What does the First Amendment protect, in theory and in reality?
  • Is there a difference between First Amendment protection in hard copy and online?
  • How does the First Amendment apply to professorial speech?
  • What about the rights of students to freedom of speech, in the classroom and in student newspapers?
  • How are academic freedom and the First Amendment related?
  • Who “owns” academic freedom?
  • When does the requirement of civility trump freedom of speech?
  • How do these rights translate in the private sector?


Your conference leader for “Regulating Speech and Expression in Higher Education: What You Can and Cannot Censor Under the First Amendment” is Kathleen Conn. Ms. Conn is a scientist, educator, consultant, and attorney and is currently of counsel with the Education Law Practice Group of King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Ms. Conn earned her B.S. in physics from St. John’s University, New York, an M.S. in medical physics at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and a dual Ph.D. in physics/biology at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Pennsylvania. She earned her J.D. and LL.M. degrees at Widener University School Law in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a member of the Pennsylvania bar and is admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Conn’s professional experience includes full-time college and university teaching, most recently for seven years in the graduate education program at Neumann University, Aston, PA. Before her appointment at Neumann, she served for 18 years in public school districts in Pennsylvania, as a high school science teacher, K-12 curriculum supervisor, and elementary school principal. She is also a consultant and expert witness on issues of school safety, students’ First Amendment rights, bullying, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment. Ms. Conn currently teaches as an adjunct professor in the Public Health Department at Muhlenberg College and at Widener Law.

Ms.Conn has authored three books, as well as an ever-increasing list of invited book chapters, articles and commentaries in peer-reviewed law journals. She is on the Authors’ Committee of West’s Education Law Reporter. An annual presenter at the national Education Law Association (ELA) Conference, Ms.Conn has also served on the executive board of ELA. She has presented on both scientific and legal topics at various international conferences in Europe, China, New Zealand, and Australia. QUALITY COMMITMENT

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