NASPA Launches Guide on Free Speech and Deliberative Dialogue on Campus

Civic Engagement
May 22, 2020 NASPA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Student affairs administrators are often on the front lines of campus disruptions centered on notions of free speech and civic engagement. NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is proud to announce the publication of its new issue guide on engaging in deliberative dialogues on campus. In today’s sometimes contentious and divided political environment, NASPA is releasing this guide in partnership with the Kettering Foundation to help address how colleges and universities can foster inclusive campus communities. 

The guide is more than a year in the making and reflects significant interest and involvement from student affairs professionals in leveraging deliberative dialogue to promote student success. NASPA held a series of concern gatherings with student affairs professionals across the country which served as the basis for the development of the guide. The guide is available for free to anyone with an interest in free speech on campus and how to encourage civil discourse among those with divergent perspectives. 

NASPA and the Kettering Foundation support deliberative dialogue as an ideal way to encourage civil dialogue on challenging topics that impact higher education and democracy across the country. Free Speech and the Inclusive Campus: How Do We Foster the Campus Community We Want? includes valuable suggestions for guiding groups through a deliberative dialogue forum on a controversial topic.

In concert with the release of the guide, NASPA is hosting a free session titled, Dialogue and Deliberation, Moderator Training for Dialogues across Difference, on Wednesday, May 27 from 2 pm to 5 pm ET. Participants will be trained as moderators who will then be able to coordinate deliberative dialogue forums on their own campuses. 

NASPA's Research and Policy Institute generates scholarship and conducts policy analysis to articulate student affairs contributions to student success, learning, and development; interprets information to advance practice and policy conversations; and connects the many research and policy activities of NASPA members to increase reach and impact. 

The Kettering Foundation is a nonprofit operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research. Kettering’s primary research centers on answering the question, what does it take to make democracy work as it should? Kettering’s research is distinctive because it is conducted from the perspective of citizens and focuses on what people can do collectively to address problems affecting their lives, their communities, and their nation.

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.