SpeechMatters is the official podcast of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. The podcast features thought leaders tackling the most pressing issues impacting free expression and democracy on campus and beyond. Hosted by the Center’s Executive Director, Michelle Deutchman.

 

“Politics at the Expense of Students”: The Impact of Dismantling DEI

Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), discusses the wide and deep impacts that ongoing legislative attacks on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs, officers and trainings have on higher education. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

Paulette Granberry Russell

President, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education

Episode Resources


“Divisive Concepts” and the Role of History Education in Democracy

Jim Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association (AHA) joins the podcast to discuss how “divisive concepts” legislation creates challenges for the teaching and learning of history that compromise democratic values and institutions. Throughout the conversation, Grossman points to the vital role that facts, critical thinking and source credibility play in maintaining an informed and engaged public. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Jim Grossman

Executive director, American Historical Association

 

Episode Resources


Realizing the Democracy We Want: Student Voting and Civic Engagement

What is the state of youth voting among college students as we barrel toward the November presidential election? Today’s guests, Jennifer Domagal-Goldman from ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and UC Berkeley undergraduate student, Alex Edgar, discuss successful strategies to increase youth participation in local, state and federal elections in 2024. Listen in for tangible tips on actions you can take now to engage the young people in your life and on your campus. Full transcript available here. 

Featuring Speakers

 

Jennifer Domagal-Goldman

Executive director, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Civic Nation

 

Alex Edgar

Undergraduate student, UC Berkeley

 

Episode Resources

Every single person in a college community can help support nonpartisan democratic engagement on their campus by:


Getting Curious: Restorative Justice Practices in Higher Ed

Restorative justice – traditionally used as a way to respond to criminal acts – is now being used on college and university campuses to foster community, improve relationships and respond to harm. Leading the way is the Office of Restorative Justice Practices at UC San Francisco directed by this month’s guest, Dr. Maria Jaochico. Dr. Jaochico grounds us in restorative justice approaches that can be utilized when community values compete with protected speech. Full transcript available here

Featuring Speakers

 

Maria Jaochico

Director of the Office of Restorative Justice Practices, UC San Francisco

Episode Resources


When Speech Causes Stress: Supporting Campus Constituents

People do not seem to agree on much right now; however, there does seem to be consensus that this is a challenging and painful time on college campuses. This month’s guests, Dr. Katya Armistead, assistant vice chancellor and dean of students for UC Santa Barbara and Dr. Genie Kim, director of student mental health and wellbeing at the UC Office of the President, discuss the hard work of providing support to the campus community when ugly speech rears its head. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Katya Armistead

Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, UC Santa Barbara

 

Genie Kim

Director of Student Mental Health and Wellbeing, UC Office of the President

Episode Resources


Indictments, Incitement and (Artificial) Intelligence

Join the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, Ben Wizner, for a conversation about former President Trump’s use of the First Amendment as a legal defense, whether his speech on January 6th meets the Supreme Court’s test for incitement and how AI might impact the democratic process. Full transcript available here. 

Featuring Speakers

 

Ben Wizner

Director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, ACLU

Episode Resources


“Wake Up Everybody”: President Drake on Speaking Up, Medicine and Music

As the academic year begins and students return to campuses, we look forward to another year of expression and engagement. This month we are honored to have UC President Michael V. Drake join the podcast to discuss a time when he spoke up in the face of racism, how UC uses its voice to further its motto of Fiat Lux as well as to share some song picks with us. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Michael V. Drake

University of California President and Center Chair

Episode Resources

President Drake’s Song Picks

 


A Student Affairs Administrator and a Police Officer Walk into a Bar …

Two former fellows, Dr. Alice Yau, a Sergeant with the Chicago Police Department and Dr. Jill Dunlap, Senior Director for Research, Policy, and Civic Engagement at NASPA join us this month to discuss their research and curriculum related to speech, campus law enforcement and student affairs administrators. Together, with host Michelle Deutchman, learn how this dynamic duo paired up to address protest and free speech policies on campus. Full transcript available here. 

Featuring Speakers

 

Dr. Jill Dunlap

Senior Director for Research, Policy & Civic Engagement at NASPA, ’20-’21 Center Fellow

 

 

Dr. Alice Yau

Sergeant & Police-Officer-Instructor-Trainer at the Chicago Police Department, ’20-’21 Center Fellow

 

Episode Resources

 


Courting Controversy: Upcoming Cases on Campus Speech

 In this month’s SpeechMatters episode, former fellow and UC Davis Law Professor Brian Soucek dives into what’s happening in the lower courts when it comes to campus speech. Brian and Michelle talk diversity statements and the recent lawsuit against UC Santa Cruz, bias response teams and Speech First’s targeted lawsuits against them,  and the potential impact of the decision in 303 Creative. Full transcript available here. 

Featuring Speakers

Brian Soucek

Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Fellow at UC Davis, ’20-’21 Center Fellow

 

Episode Resources

 


The Challenge of AI: “Abstinence is Not the Best Approach”

The latest generative AI technologies have dominated the headlines these last few months raising questions about how ChatGPT will change teaching, research and learning at colleges and universities, as well as in society at large. In this episode, we explore AI’s impacts – both big and small – with nationally recognized technology policy expert and Director of UNC at Chapel Hill’s Center on Technology Policy Matt Perault. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Matt Perault

Director, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Center on Technology Policy

 

Episode Resources

Class Notes Links: 


Lessons Learned: Preparing for and Responding to Polarizing Speakers on Campus

With college life fully back in-person this year, we have seen a series of heckler’s vetoes and violence at universities across the country. This week’s guests, UC Davis student body President Radhika Gawde and Penn State’s Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Danny Shaha, join us to share their experiences preparing for and responding to polarizing figures invited to speak on campus. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

Danny Shaha

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Penn State University, 2022-23 Center Fellow

 

 

Radhika Gawde

Student Body President, UC Davis Associated Students

 

Episode Resources


Dahlia Lithwick talks Speech, SCOTUS and Stanford Law School

This month’s episode features Slate Senior Editor and Lady Justice author Dahlia Lithwick. Together with host and Center Executive Director Michelle Deutchman, Dahlia talks through recent events at Stanford Law School, cases at the high court and the significance of the expulsion of two Black Tennessee state representatives for exercising their speech rights. Full transcript available here

Featuring Speakers

Dahlia Lithwick

Senior Editor at Slate and author of Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America

 

Episode Resources

 


Can the Framework of Human Rights Law Help at Home?

UC Irvine School of Law Clinical Professor David Kaye joins SpeechMatters this month to tackle freedom of expression from a global perspective. The conversation touches on how tools like social media and AI might work for (and against) protesters around the world, and why “using the vocabulary of human rights” here at home and on our campuses can enhance expression. Full transcript available here. 

Featuring Speakers

 

David Kaye

Director of International Justice Clinic and Clinical Professor of Law at UC Irvine Law

 

Episode Resources

 


Democratic Engagement is a Courageous Act

Two former Center fellows Ellis Cose, Director of the Renewing American Democracy Project, and Teri Platt, Associate Professor of Public Administration at Clark Atlanta University come together to talk about Black History Month, the teaching of Black history and the critical role that the next generation of voices can have in our democracy. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Ellis Cose

Director of Renewing American Democracy

 

 

Teri Platt

Associate Professor of Public Administration at Clark Atlanta University

 

Episode Resources

 


“Tell me More”: Tactics to Move Beyond Cancel Culture on Campus

To kick off season two of SpeechMatters, Michelle Deutchman is joined by University of Pennsylvania Professor and author Sigal Ben-Porath to discuss her new book, Cancel Wars: How Universities Can Foster Free Speech, Promote Inclusion, and Renew Democracy. Ben-Porath leaves listeners with steps everyone can take to strengthen community and, ultimately, democracy. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Sigal Ben-Porath

Professor of Education, University of Pennslyvania

 

Episode Resources

 


Home for the Holidays: Dialoguing Across Political Difference

With the holiday season in full swing, Michelle Deutchman chats with Tania Israel, UC Santa Barbara Professor and author of Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, and BridgeUSA CEO Manu Meel, about how to engage in challenging conversations with family and friends and why doing so is fundamental to democracy. Full transcript available here.

NOTE: Since this recording, postdoctoral employees and academic researchers ratified an agreement to end their strike and return to work.

Featuring Speakers

 

Dr. Tania Israel

Associate Dean for DEI and Professor of Counseling Psychology, UC Santa Barbara; Author of Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide

 

 

Manu Meel

Chief Executive Officer, BridgeUSA

 

Episode Resources

 


Digital Speech Goes to the Supreme Court

In this episode, Center Executive Director Michelle Deutchman and Eric Goldman, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Law at Santa Clara University Law School, consider the two cases on the Supreme Court docket that could transform the internet speech landscape. Goldman suggests ways that individuals can be part of shaping the future of “Internet 3.0.” Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

Eric Goldman

Associate Dean for Research and Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law; Co-Director, High Tech Law Institute & Supervisor, Privacy Law Certificate

 

Episode Resources

 


Notes from the Field: Fighting Educational Gag Orders

In this episode, Michelle Deutchman invites PEN America’s Director of Free Expression and Educational Programs Jonathan Friedman and ACLU’s Senior Staff Attorney Emerson Sykes to discuss their ongoing efforts to protect free speech and academic freedom from censorious state legislation. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Jonathan Friedman

Director of Free Expression and Education Programs at PEN America, 2019-2020 Center Fellow

 

Emerson Skykes

Staff Attorney at the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project; 2019-2020 Center Fellow

 

Episode Resources

 


Tales from the Beat: A Conversation with Higher Ed Reporters

In this episode, Michelle Deutchman sits down with two seasoned journalists on the higher education beat, Elissa Nadworny from National Public Radio and Michael Powell from The New York Times, to discuss what their reporting has revealed about the evolving relationship between higher education, free speech and democratic learning. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Elissa Nadworny

Higher Education Correspondent at National Public Radio

 

 

Michael Powell

National Reporter at The New York Times 

 

Episode Resources

 


Back to School: What’s Ahead for Campus Speech?

In this ‘Back to School’ episode, Michelle Deutchman sits down with UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law, who also serve as co-chairs of the Center’s National Advisory Board. The trio discuss recent trends related to campus speech and academic freedom, as well as what challenges lie ahead in the coming academic year. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Erwin Chemerinsky

National Advisory Board Co-chair at the Center and dean of UC Berkeley School of Law

 

 

Howard Gillman

National Advisory Board Co-chair at the Center and chancellor at UC Irvine 

 

Episode Resources

 


Looking at the Law: The First Amendment & LGBTQ Rights

In this episode, Michelle Deutchman discusses the legal fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ community with Jenny Pizer, Acting Chief Legal Officer at Lambda Legal. Lambda is the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV. Michelle and Jenny discuss the role of litigation, education and public policy work in the LGBTQ movement including the release of the updated Title IX regulations and an expressive conduct case that is headed to the Supreme Court. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Jenny Pizer

Acting Chief Legal Officer at Lambda Legal

 

Episode Resources

 


What Does the Data Tell Us? Exploring Self-Censorship on College Campuses

In this episode, two experts – both of whom have conducted research on the issue of self-censorship – help us look behind the click-bait headlines to examine why college students may be reticent to share their viewpoints. Dig into the data with Elizabeth Niehaus, associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and Senior Fellow at the Center, and Sean Stevens, senior research fellow in polling and analytics at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. (Note: Since the time of recording, FIRE’s name has been changed. Learn more here). Full transcript available here.

 

Elizabeth Niehaus

Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and Senior Fellow at the Center

 

 

Sean Stevens

Senior Research Fellow, Polling and Analytics at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression 

Episode Resources

 


Hope in Higher Education―How We Move Forward

In this episode, former Secretary of Education and Maryland gubernatorial candidate John B. King, Jr. discusses some of the challenges facing higher education (high costs, opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect minority students, state legislatures’ threats to academic and individual freedoms) and why his outlook remains hopeful for its future. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

John B. King, Jr.

Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education and President of The Education Trust

Episode Resources

 


Book Banning: Local Fights, Dangerous Implications

In this episode, special guest Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, discusses the alarming rise in book bans across the United States, and what this dangerous trend means for the future of education, politics, and our essential freedoms. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Deborah Caldwell-Stone

Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation

Episode Resources

 


Leading with love in the face of targeted harassment

In this episode, Michelle Deutchman sits down with Dania Matos, the Vice Chancellor for the Division of Equity & Inclusion at the University of California, Berkeley. The pair discusses Dania’s commitment to “leading with love” in her equity and inclusion work in the private, nonprofit and government sectors, and her experience with targeted harassment because of this important work. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Dania Matos

Vice Chancellor for the Division of Equity & Inclusion, UC Berkeley

Episode Resources

 


“Cheap Speech” and its toll on our democracy

During the inaugural episode of SpeechMatters, Center Executive Director Michelle Deutchman sits down with Professor Rick Hasen, a national authority on elections and author of the recently published Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics—and How to Cure It, to discuss the state of democracy and the persistent threat of disinformation. Full transcript available here.

Featuring Speakers

 

Richard L. Hasen

Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, UC Irvine

Episode Resources

 


Related Resources

dotEDU Podcast featuring Michelle Deutchman - January 14, 2022

UCI Podcast featuring Michelle Deutchman - August 10, 2020