Intellectual Freedom Concerns in Higher Education: A Conversation - National Council of Teachers of English


Join NCTE for a members-only event to discuss the current state of intellectual freedom in higher education with a panel of experts. NCTE Standing Committee Against Censorship member Ann David, American Association of University Professors senior program officer Michael DeCesare, and PEN America’s Jeremy C. Young will take part in a moderated discussion led by Holly Hassel, immediate past chair of CCCC. As a new semester approaches, take the opportunity to gather information and resources for the year ahead.

Thursday, August 10, 4–5 p.m. ET

This event is a members-only event and registration is required. Please contact with any questions.




Ann D. David, associate professor at the University of the Incarnate Word, is a teacher educator, codirector of the San Antonio Writing Project, and a member of the Standing Committee Against Censorship. She has also taught English and theatre in high schools in the midwest. Her scholarship focuses on writing and the teaching of writing, as well as the impacts of censorship on English language arts teachers. She is a current member of the Standing Committee Against Censorship.





Michael DeCesare is a senior program officer in the AAUP’s Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance. Prior to joining the Association’s staff, he spent nearly two decades as a faculty member.






Jeremy C. Young is the Freedom to Learn program director at PEN America. In this role, he leads PEN America’s efforts to fight government censorship in educational institutions, with a particular focus on the higher education sector. He directs PEN America’s work on educational gag orders, the Champions of Higher Education initiative, and an expanding network of coalitions to mobilize support for professors and teachers. A former history professor, Young holds a PhD in US history from Indiana University and is the author of The Age of Charisma: Leaders, Followers, and Emotions in American Society, 1870-1940 (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He was a 2021 New Leaders Council Fellow and is a recipient of the Roger D. Bridges Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.


Holly Hassel is Professor of English at Michigan Technological University. She has previously taught at University of Wisconsin-Marathon County and North Dakota State University. She is immediate past chair of CCCC, past editor of Teaching English in the Two-Year College, and coauthor of A Faculty Guidebook for Effective Shared Governance and Service in Higher Education (2023, Routledge).