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Abstract

Should anyone feel positive after a day of discussing the First Amendment in the context of threats to American universities and colleges from Nazis, white su-premacists, anarchists, and others using the campus as the staging ground for disruption and violence? Yes, because it was clear from the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution’s (“CSDR”) Symposium, at the University of Missouri School of Law, that the evolution in thought over the past year on how institutions of higher education should handle these challenges is truly remarkable. The speakers as a body demonstrated that if an institution is thoughtful in its approach, and diligent in its preparation, the institution can emerge stronger and can significantly minimize risks to the well-being of its community, its long-term reputational interests, and its financial and legal interests. In short, the institution can be successful if it focusses on the centrality of its ongoing relationships with its community, i.e., its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters.

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