Bias response teams (BRTs) represent one of the most polarizing current debates about free speech and equity in higher education. Hundreds of colleges and universities have created BRTs to receive reports of bias and hate incidents on campus from students and employees. BRTs often focus their work on speech and expression which may be protected by law or policy, but which has a negative impact on campus constituencies. Their presence prompts questions about the compatibility and balancing of various values including creating a welcoming campus climate and valuing free expression. Advocacy groups have launched lawsuits challenging BRTs and their procedures in public institutions.
Given this contentious climate, some colleges and universities are revisiting their bias response procedures and crafting alternative educational and response mechanisms. Center Fellow Dr. Ryan Miller, Associate Professor of Higher Education at UNC Charlotte, will be joined by Dr. Liliana Garces, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin, to discuss the current landscape for bias response in higher education.