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From the Acting Provost: Key takeaways from the Freedom of Expression forum

iews on the Middle East and Freedom of Expression
Acting Provost Salma Ghanem, left, welcomes attendees to the forum on May 7. (DePaul University/Diane Smutny)
More than 60 members of the DePaul Community gathered Tuesday morning for the Academic Affairs-sponsored forum exploring “Views on the Middle East and Freedom of Expression at DePaul.”

I am grateful to our faculty panelists and moderator who, with very short notice, said ‘yes’ to my invitation to help make this happen in such a timely fashion.

The presentations and Q&A dialogue were at times challenging - even pointed - and honest throughout.

Along with my thanks to all who attended, I want to share a few key takeaways:
  • Members of the community are disappointed by what they view as Vincentian values being trumped by the university’s embrace of academic freedom. Know that as someone whose roots are in the Middle East, I abhor the views espoused in Professor Hill’s Federalist op-ed – even as I acknowledge his right to express his views. 
  • Many students want to be sure their views on this topic are being heard. Know that, along with many others, I am continuing to listen and have agreed to meet next week with students at the forum who asked to meet with me.
  • We must not let this be a one-time event.  Know that the dialogue will continue. I also encourage you to submit your ideas for future programs.
Again, thank you for your willingness to tackle some of the challenging issues we are facing as a Vincentian and intellectual community. While we may not always agree, I am grateful for those who joined us for a respectful dialogue. If you were not able to attend, a video from the forum is available online​