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Difficult Dialogues II

 A Vision of the Future transparent


“…diversity is simply a fact of our local and global world,  
but pluralism requires engaging that diversity with study, debate,  
and dialogue; and this constitutes a new intellectual challenge  
for colleges and universities.”

Susan V. Berresford

Ford Foundation 1996-2007


Although a substantial focus of the program remains conflict resolution, we do not suggest that the conflict of ideas itself is undesirable or bad.


Attempts to squelch such conflict, or to mute the discussion it naturally provokes, or to selectively protect and prohibit certain viewpoints are completely counter to the academic mission of public higher education in a democratic society as well as violations of our federal and state Constitutions.


Consequently, the second phase of our Difficult Dialogues program maintains our dual focus on protecting and promoting academic freedom as well as fostering civil exchange and conflict resolution.


For our students, this means providing them with the tools to conduct reasoned analysis of difficult issues, and a safe environment in which to express and integrate their own and others’ viewpoints.


For the campus as a whole, this means sustaining our commitment to academic freedom, the open exchange of ideas, and intellectual diversity.