Published: Jan. 24, 2006

Examining why academic freedom is often a source of controversy on college campuses across the nation will be the cornerstone of Colorado Law's at Boulder's 13th Ira C. Rothgerber Jr. Conference to be held Feb. 3-4 in the Fleming Law Building. Titled "Horowitz, Churchill, Columbia -- What Next for Academic Freedom?" the conference will address the theory and practice of academic freedom from the perspective of several controversial disputes. The conference is open to the public and continuing legal education credits are available. Members of the judiciary, CU alumni, faculty, staff and students will be admitted for free but lunch and a parking pass are not included. The conference title refers to conservative author David Horowitz and two recent cases where academic freedom was criticized. Horowitz is known for his campaign for an "Academic Bill of Rights" to protect students from what he claims is an "unprofessional political indoctrination" on college campuses. At CU-Boulder last year an article published by ethnic studies Professor Ward Churchill raised public scrutiny while at Columbia University in New York City critics have claimed the school's Middle Eastern Studies are anti-Israeli. But according to Richard Collins, CU law professor and director of the law school's Byron White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law, the controversies surrounding Horowitz, Churchill and Columbia are only meant to initiate dialogue and are not the focus of the conference. This year's conference is sponsored by the Byron R. White Center, the political science department's Keller Center for the First Amendment and the University of Colorado Law Review. Principal speakers will be Larry Alexander, University of San Diego School of Law; Alan K. Chen, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver; Fred Schauer, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; J. Peter Byrne, Georgetown University Law Center; Robert M. O'Neil, Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, University of Virginia; and Emily Calhoun, CU School of Law. For more information about the conference, a complete schedule, registration fees and online registration visit the conference Web site at or call (303) 492-8048. Contact: Richard B. Collins, (303) 492-5493 Dirk Martin, (303) 492-3112