November 17

Balancing the First Amendment with Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

Penn State Dickinson Law will host Balancing the First Amendment with Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education, a two-day symposium on November 17 and 18, 2017 at Lewis Katz Hall, Carlisle. This symposium will bring together higher education administrators, law professors, lawyers and students to discuss the challenge of balancing the First Amendment with diversity and inclusion efforts on college campuses. This interdisciplinary conference builds on the Penn State University “All In” campaign for diversity and inclusion and seeks to foster a dialogue around managing diversity and inclusion on college campuses.

The symposium will be held in Apfelbaum Family Courtroom & Auditorium, Lewis Katz Hall, Penn State Dickinson Law, Carlisle, PA and will feature University of California, Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky as the Keynote speaker. In addition, papers and abstracts submitted in response to this call will be selected, and authors will be invited to present their paper or work in progress at the Symposium. General inquiries regarding the Symposium may be addressed to the Chair of the Symposium Planning Committee, Professor Megan Riesmeyer, at or 717-241-3524.

Register now

Symposium Schedule*

8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Welcome
President Eric J. Barron and Dean Gary S. Gildin
9:00 to 10:15 a.m. Panel
The State of Affairs: Current Campus Climate Challenges

Moderator:  Bekah Saidman-Krauss, assistant dean for admissions and financial aid, Dickinson Law
Carlesha Halkias, executive director, Office of Social Equity, Shippensburg University
Jay Austin, assistant dean for admissions, University of California-Irvine
Juliana Martinez, American University
Shoba Wadhia, clinical professor of law, Penn State Law
10:15 to 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. to Noon Panel
Free Speech and Hostile Learning Environments
Moderator:  Thomas Place, professor of law, Dickinson Law
Vanessa Miller, Ph.D. candidate, Penn State College of Education and J.D. candidate, Penn State Law
Blake Morant, dean, George Washington University School of Law
Hank Chambers, Richmond University School of Law
Lia Epperson, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, American University
12:30 p.m. Lunch
2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Panel
Academic Freedom
Moderator:  Carla D. Pratt, associate dean for diversity and inclusion and professor of law
Spencer Bradley ‘19, Dickinson Law
Megan Riesmeyer, clinical professor of law, Dickinson Law
Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for educational equity, Penn State
Mike Michel, Esq., employment law practitioner
6:00 p.m. Dinner On Your Own
7:45 to 8:40 a.m. Hot Breakfast
8:45 to 9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
9:00 to 10:10 a.m. Panel
Diversity & Inclusion Strategies
Moderator:  Yolanda Ingram, assistant dean for student services, Dickinson Law
Tamara Austin, director, student services, University of California-Irvine
Dorothy Evensen, professor of education (retired), Penn State
Carlos Wiley, director, Paul Robeson Cultural Center, Penn State
Danielle Conway, dean and professor of law, University of Maine School of Law
Starlette Sharp, director, Millennium Scholars Program, Penn State
10:15 to 11:30 a.m. Panel
The First and Fourteenth Amendments

Moderator:  Medha Makhlouf, assistant professor of law and director, Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic, Dickinson Law
Vinay Harpalani, associate professor of law, Savannah Law School
Dwayne Wright, Ph.D. candidate, Penn State College of Education
Sahar Aziz, professor of law, Rutgers University School of Law
Roberto Tito Valdes, Esq., practitioner 
11:30 to 11:45 a.m. Break
Noon to 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Speaker
Introduction of Speaker, Neil Weissman, provost and dean, Dickinson College
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Jesse H. Choper distinguished professor of law, University of California-Berkeley Law

*Schedule is subject to change.

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