Using Shared Governance to Preserve Free Speech on Campus: Professor Trachtenberg in The Chronicle for Higher Education

Professor Ben Trachtenberg recently wrote an article published in The Chronicle for Higher Education, “How Missouri Used Shared Governance to Preserve Free Speech on Campus,” in which he discussed free speech at public universities. Specifically, he described the student protests that occurred on the MU campus in Fall 2015 and how the university has responded to free speech issues on campus since then.

“The rules [governing free speech on campus] represent the shared wisdom of faculty and administration, as well as the staff who will enforce them and the students they will regulate,” he wrote. “With a combination of expertise, patience, and goodwill, we have shown how shared governance is supposed to work – and how free speech can be protected.”

Professor Trachtenberg, as chair of the MU Faculty Council, worked with then-Interim Chancellor Hank Foley to appoint the MU Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protests, Public Spaces, Free Speech, and the Press. The committee was charged with recommending rules governing free speech on campus to the chancellor and the MU Faculty Council.