Advance at UNM, along with Academic Affairs, the Center for Teaching & Learning and the UNM School of Law, hosts two events for faculty and staff at The University of New Mexico to help understand the current free speech climate and consider best practices for making sure campus conversations stay civil. The events will take place on March 19 from 12 to 1 p.m. on Zoom and on March 29 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., respectively in the UNM Student Union Building.

On March 19, the webinar titled Academic Freedom on Campus: Professional and Personal Reflections will feature distinguished UNM Constitutional scholars and the chair of the Faculty Senate’s Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, who will offer guidance to faculty and staff surrounding these topics.

The webinar’s presenters will include Maryam Ahranjani, professor of UNM School of Law, Sever Bordeianu, professor of UNM Libraries and Learning Sciences, John Kang, professor of UNM School of Law, and Josh Kastenberg, professor of UNM School of Law. The event will be moderated by Julia Fulghum, director, Advance at UNM and Sonia Gipson Rankin, professor of UNM School of Law. The panelists will explore the multifaceted concept of academic freedom through historical, legal and practical lenses, and share diverse strategies for navigating challenges in academia. Those interested in this webinar must use a UNM email address to register.

For those who miss the webinar, there will be a following experiential workshop event on March 29, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m at the Student Union Building, titled Talking Across Differences: Creating Conditions for Productive Dialogue. It will provide ways for faculty and staff to have conversations that stretch beyond campus, including through a restorative justice lens.

This workshop will discuss situations in which it may be better to avoid, redirect, and actively discourage such dialogue, along with strategies for doing so. Other discussions will revolve around situations in which dialogue may be beneficial, and how to use the philosophy and methods of restorative justice to create conditions for dialogue to be productive and meaningful. Furthermore, the workshop will delve into how to respond when dialogue seems to go awry.

Mikhail Lyubansky, teaching associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Department of Psychology, will present the workshop. Staff from the UNM CTL will facilitate discussions and answer questions about CTL support for the development of community agreements.

Advance at UNM has also compiled a list of resources to learn more about academic freedom and free speech at UNM and to register for these events, visit Academic Freedom on Campus.