Dr. Amir Hussain Speaks with CEIE Director and Spehar-Halligan Professor Dr. Michael Trice

Posted: March 16, 2023

By: Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement (CEIE) @ Seattle University

Dr. Amir Hussain Podcast
Listen to the Podcast on CEIE’s
Religica Theolab.

Dr. Hussain to CEIE Director Dr. Michael Reid Trice:

“How do we create educated citizens with the full range of rights, responsibilities and thoughts that they can have? The danger becomes that we support our own and our own becomes so much narrower. That’s one of the great things for me about America. It’s the idea of the Constitution. This document says: ‘Here are our founding principles.’ There’s something here about these ideas, including the freedoms.”

This year, a state college, New College in Sarasota, Florida, came under the microscope of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has an eye on becoming the next president of the United States. He is transforming New College, which is known as progressive and describes itself as “a community of free thinkers.” 

On Jan. 31, New College’s president Patricia Okker was ousted, and Gov. DeSantis unveiled his higher education policies — to further weaken faculty tenure protections, eliminate diversity and equity programs and mandate Western civilization courses, according to The New York Times

In response, on Feb. 9 the reputable American Council of Learned Societies released a statement, noting New College as another glaring example of an attack on the principles of academic freedom and faculty governance. The claim by Florida administration of “indoctrination” and the changes to come at New College at the hands of the state, invite a conversation about the role of the university and the shared responsibility to protect critical thinking, freedom of speech and informed debate.

Engage more:

The Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement
The Religica Theolab 
The Interfaith Observer