UA Hosting Controversial Issues in Higher Education Symposium

June 17, 2019

UA Hosting Controversial Issues in Higher Education Symposium

  • What: Controversial Issues in Higher Education Symposium
  • When: June 27, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., with a reception to follow at the McKale Center's Hall of Champions
  • Where: Student Union Memorial Center, 1303 E. University Blvd.

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona is hosting its fourth annual Controversial Issues in Higher Education Symposium on June 27. Formerly focused on constitutional matters, this year's program will be expanded to encompass a wider range of controversial issues, examining provocative topics that inform contemporary practice in higher education and ultimately shape the experience of today's students and professors.

Speakers and thought leaders from around the country will explore issues surrounding college athletics, Title IX, campus free speech and immigration.

"We are proud to host such a diverse and esteemed array of speakers exploring these important and timely topics," said Kendal Washington White, the UA's vice provost for campus life and dean of students. "The UA is committed to providing a forum for an open, honest and meaningful dialogue in regard to these issues."

Victoria Jackson, a sports historian and lecturer of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, will serve as the event's keynote speaker. Her address, titled "Black Athlete Labor Pays for White Athlete Privilege, and Other Ways American College Sports Should Make Us All Uncomfortable," seeks to develop historical and experiential contextual layers to explore the racial and economic divides in college sports.

The plenary session, titled "Free Speech on Campus: What's Different This Time Around, and What's Next," will be hosted by Howard Gillman, chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. Gillman will discuss what distinguishes contemporary debates from earlier debates, and how these differences will impact the shape of the debate in the years to come.

Breakout session topics include:

  • "A Call to Men," presented by Christopher Guerrero, a clinical social worker with the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, challenges the collective socialization of men by examining the social norms, culture and traditional images of manhood that have created an environment that supports, tolerates and often encourages men's violence against women.
  • "Title IX:  Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going," presented by Scott D. Schneider with Husch Blackwell LLP, provides an update on the proposed Title IX regulations and predictions on what the final regulations will require, as well as discussions about litigation challenging those regulations and developments in the world of Title IX litigation.
  • "Immigration Issues in the Current Era: Navigating an Ever-Changing Landscape," presented by Mark Kinzler, a member of the Attorney for Student Office with Texas State University, will explore general immigration concepts and focus on recent policy changes and how these changes are affecting noncitizen students. The presentation will also cover common issues faced by higher education institutions as a result of current immigration policy.
  • Former UA student-athletes Alex Dotson, Wilrey Fontenot and Percy Knox will take part in a former student-athlete panel discussion with Jackson, where they will discuss their experiences as student-athletes, issues they dealt with while on campus and some of the issues they see current student-athletes facing.
  • "The Chronic Cloud of Caring: When Compassion Turns to Fatigue," presented by clinical psychologist Kristin Schwartz, will explore the objective meaning and subjective implications of stress, distress, compassion fatigue, burnout, self-care and compassionate detachment through a dynamic group discussion and exercises resulting in the development of a personal plan to avoid the significant consequences of unchecked compassion fatigue.
  • "Hot Topics in Higher Ed: Border Patrol on Campus - Debriefing Recent Events at the University of Arizona" will examine an encounter between UA students and Border Patrol officials. Facilitated by representatives from the Dean of Students Office and other campus colleagues, this session will debrief recent events exploring the tensions around free speech and campus safety, and discuss the UA's unique campus characteristics, including its location 60 miles north of the Arizona/Mexico border and newly minted Hispanic-Serving Institution designation.
  • Attendees will be able to ask questions and further discuss these topics with the events' panelists and speakers during an afternoon meet-and-greet session.

Admission is free for all UA faculty, staff and students. For non-UA affiliates, general registration costs $125. Attendees also have the option to earn a CLE Certificate of Attendance.

To request disability-related accommodations, please contact Janis Gallego, deputy director of the Department of Title IX, Equity and Inclusion, at The morning keynote and the afternoon plenary talks will be captioned. Additionally, all sessions in the North Ballroom will be captioned. Captioning for other sessions is available upon request. ASL interpreters are also available upon request. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, with accessible restrooms. There are also accessible parking spaces south of the Student Union in the Second Street Garage and adjacent surface lot.

Registration ends at 10 p.m. on June 20. For more information, visit

Media contact:
Janis Gallego
Department of Title IX, Equity and Inclusion
The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the UA is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The UA ranked in the top 25 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The UA advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.