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President's Forum Event Series

The President’s Forum is an event series consisting of moderated panel discussions, debates, or other highly interactive presentations on controversial issues. Underscoring the academy’s unique role as the ultimate marketplace of ideas, the forum allows for open and robust discourse on timely topics, presenting diverse perspectives in a fair and balanced manner. The goal is not to privilege any particular ideology but, rather, to promote habits of mind and argumentation that enlighten students and the public and that promote a deeper understanding of critical issues facing our society.

I appreciated the opportunity put on by the president to create a safe place to have a civil and respectful conversation about a controversial topic. This event was able to show students and members of the UNE community how to listen to and have these types of conversations. Instead of bullying those with different opinions into submission, having the ability to agree to disagree is a very important attribute for anyone to hold.” — Jarrett O’Connor, Public Health ’23 

Watch Past Forums

Maine’s Homelessness Crisis

AI: The End of the World or the Dawn of a New Age

Transgender Athletes and Competitive Sports: A Conversation

Policing in America

Making Sense of Jordan Peterson

What About Guns?

Is it Ethical to Profit From Climate Change?

The President’s Forum provides a model of how two scholars with opposing views can safely and inclusively discuss a controversial issue. In the future, I will take elements from this dialogue such as respect, consideration, and active listening, and apply them when having difficult conversations with colleagues, peers, family, and friends.” — E. Mackenzie Greenleaf, Health Sciences ’23 

Supporting the Marketplace of Ideas

Based on UNE's core value of relentless inquiry, the UNE Library offers a resource on viewpoint diversity. This tool empowers students to navigate the complexities of personal bias and media bias in the discussion of polarizing issues and to consider a variety of viewpoints and perspectives on any issue.

Learn More about Free Expression and Respectful Debate at UNE