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Discussion Events Opens Forum on Academic Freedom, Governance and Leadership


The Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, the U.M. Staff Council, and the U.M. Faculty Senate announce a series of three brown bag discussions on academic freedom, governance, and leadership changes at the University of Mississippi.

On Tuesday, April 14, Tuesday April 21, and Tuesday April 28, they all invite faculty, staff, and students to join us from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Overby Auditorium. The brown bags will feature speakers on academic freedom, academic governance, and the case of the University of Virginia, in preparation for Theresa Sullivan’s commencement address at the University of Mississippi.

The hosts will briefly frame the issues and then leave the bulk of time for community discussion.

The first brown bag, tomorrow at 12pm at Overby auditorium, will feature two prominent campus leaders who spoke publicly about Chancellor Jones and the IHL’s decision not to renew his contract. Dr. James Thomas (J.T.), assistant professor of sociology, and Dean Douglas Sullivan-Gonzalez, dean of the Honors College, will discuss the implications of recent events on campus in terms of academic freedom, and then lead a broader discussion.

The hosts invite all members of the University of Mississippi community to join these brown bag conversations. Many have been disheartened by the events of recent weeks and have felt powerless in light of larger outside forces.

The hosts said in the press release: “But we—faculty, students, and staff—are the University of Mississippi, and we can make our own decisions about the character of our community and the future of our institution. We hope that our collective conversations over the next three weeks will help us determine the best ways to shape our future.”

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