Bringing the Marketplace of Ideas to Life

From the classroom to the lab and out in the field, our commitment to fostering a Marketplace of Ideas is an integral part of everything we do. In addition, UNE sponsors multiple event series where a diversity of ideas can be presented and discussed through civil and respectful discourse.



Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

UNE's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) offers workshops, brown bag lunches, book groups, mini-Faculty Learning Committees, and resources for faculty and professional staff on topics such as Difficult Dialogues and Teaching Controversial Topics.

While there are no one-size-fits-all, quick fixes, or perfect recipes, CETL creates a respectful, collaborative, and critical learning space in which to develop more comfort with these topics.

The President’s Forum

The President’s Forum is an event series consisting of moderated debates 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. Past Forums are available for viewing online.

The President’s Award for Constructive Discourse

Established by UNE President James Herbert, The President’s Award for Constructive Discourse recognizes faculty and professional staff who have shown exceptional dedication to promoting constructive, thoughtful discourse on difficult or controversial topics within the UNE community. Each year, students, faculty, and professional staff make nominations, then one member of the faculty and one member of UNE’s professional staff receive the honor. The award carries a $1,000 honorarium.

UNE’s Center for Global Humanities

Every semester the Center for Global Humanities (CGH) hosts a full program of speakers and films from around the globe. Care is made to select speakers from across the political spectrum addressing a wide range of topics. Speakers have included Noam Chomsky, Christina Hoff Summers, and Bill McKibben. The events are free and open to the public, and past CGH lectures are available for viewing online.