The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents passed a resolution last week that requires expulsion of students if they repeatedly disrupted freedom of speech or expression on campus. The very loose wording of the resolution along with the severe penalties involved have caused concern at many of the campuses, particularly among students and faculty.

One response to this act happened last night at UW Stout, where a panel was held to debate this resolution. The panel included Chancellor Bob Meyer; Tim Higgins, a member of the UW System Board of Regents; and John Nichols, associate editor of the Capital Times newspaper in Madison. The event was moderated by Timothy Shiell, the director of the University of Wisconsin-Stout Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation.

The following is a complete video of the panel. John Nichols took great exception to the resolution and it was, of course, heartily defended by Bob Meyer and Tim Higgins.  Serious questions were raised by a number of faculty, students, and citizens in the audience.

I have to ask --- why is there a sudden need for this in a state school system that has withstood strong protest and divisiveness in the past? Why is the discipline involved so clearly spelled out while the acts deserving punishment are so ill-defined? The discussion was very lively and interesting and deserves a wider audience. 

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley


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