Free Speech Center scholars

Leading University of California scholars in a variety of fields – ranging from religious studies and law to medicine and philosophy – have been named to the inaugural academic advisory board of the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.

Board members will assist in the creation of the Center’s project priorities and future selection of fellows. They also will contribute written pieces on topics related to their scholarly activities for the Center’s forthcoming “Weekly Conversation” column, which will be featured on its website:

“The members of our academic advisory board represent the UC system’s breadth of talent and expertise. The perspectives they bring will help shape the national conversation on free expression in higher education,” said Michelle Deutchman, the center’s executive director. “I am excited to collaborate with them to further the Center’s important work.”

The University of California – birthplace of the Free Speech Movement – launched the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement in 2017 to support and advance research, education and advocacy on these challenging issues.

Last year, the center announced its first set of fellows. These 10 scholars, students and analysts from across the country are researching timely, vital First Amendment topics. As part of the fellowship, each spent a week in residence at one of the 10 UC campuses to engage with students, faculty, administrators and community members.

The Center’s first national conference – #SpeechMatters: The Future of Free Expression on Campus – will be held March 21 at the UCDC offices in Washington, D.C. The event will provide an opportunity for elected officials, university leaders and others to explore new approaches to engaging and educating students about the critical role of the First Amendment in American democracy.

Academic advisory board members

  • Ahmad Atif Ahmad - UC Santa Barbara, Professor, Religious Studies; Chair of the Council on Faculty Welfare, Academic Freedom, and Awards
  • Gerardo Aldana - UC Santa Barbara, Professor, Anthropology and Chicana/o Studies; Chair of the Department of Chicana/o Studies
  • Amy Binder - UC San Diego, Professor, Sociology
  • Simone E. Chambers - UC Irvine, Professor, Political Science
  • Michael Mark Cohen - UC Berkeley, Associate Teaching Professor, African American Studies & African Diaspora Studies
  • Lee G. Cooper - UCLA Professor Emeritus, Marketing
  • John Ganim - UC Riverside, Distinguished Professor, English
  • Jody Greene - UC Santa Cruz, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning; Director of the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning; Professor of Literature
  • David Kaye - UC Irvine, Clinical Professor, Law
  • Suneil K. Koliwad - UC San Francisco, Associate Professor, Medicine, Diabetes Center; Gerold Grodsky, PhD/JAB Chair in Diabetes Research
  • Dana Nelkin - UC San Diego, Professor, Philosophy
  • Tung Nguyen - UC San Francisco, Stephen J. McPhee MD Endowed Chair in General Internal Medicine; Professor of Medicine
  • Constance Penley - UC Santa Barbara, Professor, Film and Media Studies
  • Mary Beth Pudup - UC Santa Cruz, Director and Associate Professor, Community Studies Program
  • Randolph M. Siverson - UC Davis, Professor Emeritus, Political Science
  • Nella Van Dyke - UC Merced, Professor, Sociology
  • John Villasenor - UCLA, Professor, Public Policy, Electrical Engineering & Management,
  • Eugene Volokh - UCLA School of Law, Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law
  • Keith David Watenpaugh - UC Davis, Professor and Director, Human Rights Studies