Press Releases | Freedom of Expression

Higher Ed Reform Group Set to Convene Leading Voices on Academic Freedom and Accountability

October roundtable will feature panel discussions with university presidents, scholars, and trustees on changing education models and solutions to campus free speech issues
July 27, 2017 by ACTA

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), the leading nonprofit organization advocating for academic freedom, academic excellence, and accountability in higher education, announced the conference theme and the distinguished speakers who will appear at its annual ATHENA Roundtable. Entitled “Restoring Excellence: Ideas that Work for 21st Century College Leadership,” the conference will feature two panel discussions with presentations and commentary by nationally renowned higher education leaders and policymakers.

Moderated by Catherine Rampell, opinion columnist for The Washington Post, “A Galvanizing Year for Free Speech: A Common Agenda for Academic Freedom,” will bring together prominent scholars and free speech advocates for a discussion on the embattled state of free expression on college campuses today. Speakers include Steven Benner, distinguished fellow of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution and student member of the 1975 C. Vann Woodward Committee on Freedom of Expression at Yale,  Philip Hamburger, the Maurice and Hilda Friedman professor of law at Columbia Law School,  Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University, and Allison Stanger, professor of political science at Middlebury College.

“Money, Markets, and Management: The Changing Model of Higher Ed” will turn its attention to the complex issues of higher education finance and accountability. Moderated by Paul Fain, news editor of Inside Higher Ed, the panel will feature a conversation between researchers, scholars, and experts concerning the changing business models of higher education and solutions to the difficulties of institutional funding. Participants include Michael F. Adams, chancellor and distinguished university professor at Pepperdine University, Stephen C. Ludwig, regent of the University of Colorado, Michael Berghoff, Chairman of the Purdue University Board of Trustees, and Anne D. Neal, past president and senior fellow of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

The ATHENA Roundtable Conference will be held on October 20, 2017 at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, followed by the Philip Merrill Award Gala Dinner, where University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer will deliver keynote remarks and accept the award recognizing his fearless commitment to free expression in the academy. Visit Eventbrite for tickets and registration information.




Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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