A Stanford University professor who was previously blocked from using an image of Trump to promote her academic conference "The Way Forward: Title IX Advocacy in the Trump Era,” has been granted permission to use the image by university administrators.
According to The Mercury News, the much-debated image is a screen-grab of the now infamous leaked Access Hollywood video in which Trump references groping women.
While the debate over the image’s use is over, Stanford Law Professor Michele Landis Dauber is using the experience to start a conversation about how universities handle issues of academic freedom.
In an email to The Guardian, Dauber said that she was originally told by the associate dean of the law school that she could not use the image due to its “appearance of partisanship,” which violates university policy for school sponsored events.
Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin also noted the university’s nonprofit status as being an integral component of decisions regarding the image’s use.
“Stanford, like many universities, has long had a policy that, except in very limited circumstances, it will not provide formal endorsements of specific political or policy decisions,” Lapin said in an email to Inside Higher Ed. “As a nonprofit the university must comply with the law that prevents it from engaging in certain partisan activities. While the university does not take positions, individuals on our campus are encouraged to share their ideas."
According to Inside Higher Ed, Stanford denies ever formally barring Dauber from using the image and that no final or binding decisions were ever made by the school.
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