University of Illinois to create free-speech task force

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois is appointing a task force to develop policies to avoid issues with disruptions while maintaining free speech and a welcoming environment.

The News-Gazette reports that colleges across the U.S. have been dealing with protests interrupting political speakers.

Interim Provost John Wilkin says the task force isn’t in reaction to any recent event. He says his office has been exploring how to deal with what he calls “challenging conversations.”

Wilkin says he hopes to appoint the task force in the next month. The group will include faculty, administrators and students.

He says the goal for the task force is “protecting free speech but also engaging with the divisive sorts of things we would see with speakers in a way that doesn’t preclude it.”

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com