Annual Pope Conference set for Oct. 16

RALEIGH – Dr. Roger E. Meiners and David Horowitz will be among the speakers featured at the annual John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy Conference scheduled for Oct. 16 at the Jane S. McKimmon Center on the campus of North Carolina State University.

This year’s conference is titled “Freedom and the American Campus,” and will feature a variety of talks and panel discussions on the freedom of academic discourse in American colleges and universities.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. on the day of the conference and a continental breakfast will be provided. The cost of the conference is $20 per person.

Pre-registration is available by contacting Executive Director George Leef at

“The Pope Center’s annual conference has always focused on critical issues in higher education and this year’s event will be no exception,” Leef said. “The theme ‘Freedom and the American Campus’ is an extremely important one, given the numerous instances of retaliation against students and professors who have had the temerity to criticize the conventional wisdom in academia.”

Following a welcome address by Leef, Dr. Jerry L. Martin, Chairman of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, will open the conference with an address entitled “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Truth.”

The conference will then move to its first of three scheduled discussions on freedom on the American campus, beginning with a panel discussion on “Are Freedom of Speech and Thought Under Attack?” The session will include Professor Alan Kors of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Christina Jeffrey of the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg, and Professor David Beito of the University of Alabama.

The second session will address the question “Do American Students Learn Enough about Freedom?” Speaking during this discussion will be Professor Michael Gillespie of Duke University, Smith College economics professor James Miller, and Professor Michael DeBow of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Following a break for lunch, Professor Meiners will present the conference’s keynote address. Meiners, the Goolsby Distinguished Professor at the University of Texas-Arlington has entitled his presentation “Higher Education –Will Market Competition Succeed Where Subsidies Have Failed?”

In the afternoon, David Horowitz, president for The Center for the Study of Popular Culture, will discuss his proposed Academic Bill of Rights.

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion entitled “What is to be done?” Speakers for the final session are Dr. Candace de Russy, a trustee of the State University of New York system, Professor Norman Hurley, of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Carol Sobel, an attorney who has litigated a numerous cases dealing with academic freedom.

Shannon Blosser ( is a staff writer for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Chapel Hill.