Montana State University Billings Professor of Communication Susan Balter-Reitz, Ph.D., has been named a University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement Fellow for 2023-2024.

Balter-Reitz and her co-author, Michael Bruner, Ph.D., University of Nevada Las Vegas Professor of Communication Studies, together round out the class of ten Fellows who will be examining issues impacting democratic exchange and free expression on college campuses. Specifically, Balter-Reitz and Bruner will be assessing the impacts of the FORUM Act on free speech on public universities in the United States.

Balter-Reitz and Bruner have been concerned with the attacks on public colleges and universities under the guise of protecting free speech in their collaborated research over the last decade. Examples include their 2017 publication about the manipulation of university free speech rules by individuals such as Milo Yiannopoulous and their recent work on the passage of FORUM Acts in state legislatures around the country at the National Communication Association Conference in 2022. Additionally, the two won the Franklyn Haiman award given by the National Communication Association to honor distinguished scholarship in Freedom of Expression in 2015.

“Dr. Bruner and I are thrilled to have been selected to develop our research as part of this distinguished group of scholars from across the nation,” says Balter-Reitz. “We look forward to sharing our findings about the impact that state legislation has on shaping free expression on college campuses and the implications it has for the future of public universities.”


You must be logged in to post a comment.