How Tech's president juggles free speech and political polarization

Texas Tribune - At around 11 o’clock one night this month, Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec received a worried call from the dean of his honors college. In two days, the dean told Schovanec, a University of San Diego law professor named Gail Heriot was scheduled to give a speech about the problems with the federal gender-equality-in-education statute known as Title IX.

Many university presidents are hesitant to discuss that pressure. But in a recent interview, Schovanec described how he tries to meet it head-on. He says he believes open dialogue, as long as it's civil, is almost always the right answer. And he'll lean toward allowing a controversial speaker on campus. But he also won't hesitate to speak out in favor of the students or faculty who feel under threat — even if that might inspire some complaints.

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