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Over the past year I have had LOTS of time to think about speech on campus. Almost a year ago I found out via social media that David Duke qualified for a debate on my campus. I don’t care what the Pollster says- they did that $h!zz on purpose. He only polled over 3% one time during the entire season, and got 3% for the actual vote.

But since then I have been asked about the idea of speech on campus. While most people don’t think about HBCUs, we’ve had a history of controversial speakers too. This includes Khalid Muhammad who spoke at Howard in 1994, after the controversial Kean College speech.

This week I did an essay for Inside Higher Ed reflecting on the time he tried to speak at Emory University and the university cancelled it. I worked there then so I saw the aftermath up close and personal. But the situation has come full circle as Muhammad attended Dillard for 3 years.

So here is my reflection on Muhammad and why we have to protect speech. The environment is ripe to create the next Muhammad. How will higher ed respond?

The Prez

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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