The Public Discourse reproduced JMC faculty partner Vincent Philip Muñoz’s remarks from the US Department of Justice Forum on Free Speech. In his remarks, he draws lessons from Charles Murray’s visit to Notre Dame about free inquiry’s role in the university .
Muñoz notes that the Constitutional Studies Program (the program that invited Murray) is committed to exposing students to competing ideas. Doing so reveals the reasonableness of others’ opinions and cultivates “intellectual moderation.” Muñoz is the director of the Notre Dame’s Constitutional Studies Program, a JMC partner program.
Securing Free Speech and Free Inquiry on Campus: Lessons from Charles Murray’s Visit to Notre Dame
These remarks were delivered at the US Department of Justice Forum on Free Speech in Higher Education on September 17, 2018.
I am a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame where I have the privilege of directing the University’s Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies. My program hosted one of Charles Murray’s first post-Middlebury lectures. As you might imagine, the event was quite controversial. It generated a large protest and considerable media attention. But unlike at Middlebury, Dr. Murray was able to deliver his lecture without interruption. I think Notre Dame did a number of things right that might provide insight on how to better protect and promote free speech and free inquiry on our nation’s campuses.
On the afternoon of March 2, 2017, students hung posters all over campus advertising Charles Murray’s visit to Notre Dame, which was scheduled for later that month. That very evening, Murray visited Middlebury. So on the morning of March 3, as Notre Dame students, faculty, and administrators were learning about the Middlebury riot, they also learned that Murray would soon be visiting Notre Dame.
My inbox exploded.
Vincent Phillip Muñoz is the Tocqueville Associate Professor of Political Science and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at The University of Notre Dame. He also serves as Director of Notre Dame’s Tocqueville Program for Inquiry into Religion and Public Life and the Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies.
Dr. Muñoz writes and teaches across the fields of political philosophy, constitutional studies, and American politics. His research has focused on the theme of religious liberty and the American Constitution. His first book, God and the Founders: Madison, Washington, and Jefferson (Cambridge University Press, 2009), won the Hubert Morken Award from the American Political Science Association for the best publication on religion and politics in 2009 and 2010. His First Amendment church-state casebook, Religious Liberty and the American Supreme Court: The Essential Cases and Documents, was published in 2013 (Rowman & Littlefield, revised edition 2015) and is being used at Notre Dame and other leading universities.
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