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University of Montana J-school disinvites speaker due to ‘risk of offending students’

‘He is pretty extreme in his views,’ journalism dean writes

A controversial author and professor claims that he has been barred from speaking at a public university because of his conservative views.

“I’ve been banned from speaking at [the University] of Montana because I do not share their values of being ‘tolerant’ and ‘welcoming,'” Mike Adams, a professor at the University of North Carolina, tweeted early this morning. “A Dean said that.”

A report on newstalkkgvo.com claims that the dean of the University of Montana’s journalism school requested that Adams not be invited to campus because he posed “the risk of offending students.” The school “can still have a conversation with him if you want,” Dean Larry Abramson wrote in an email, “but he is pretty extreme in his views.”

“[Adams] has attacked members of the LGBTQ community in public forums,” Abramson told KGVO, “and, in my view, belittled people who would characterize themselves or that he would characterize as feminists and I think that some of those remarks could be interpreted as hate speech.”

Adams was invited to the journalism school under the auspices of the Jeff Cole lecture, a constituent event of the Cole Memorial Scholarship. Benefactor Maria Cole told KGVO, in part, “The Journalism School is not excited about my inviting Dr. Adams to campus and they have strongly encouraged me to select another speaker, but I have already contracted to have Dr. Adams here.” Cole claims she is “working to arrange an off-campus location and says the J-school will be invited to attend.”

From the KGVO report:

Cole points out that Mr. Adams writes for Townhall.com and says many of the past speakers that came were not working as journalists when they spoke at the University of Montana. Cole believes the push back is driven by ideology and that the issue of free speech is especially important for journalism students.

“I look at Berkely and I look at these other universities and I kind of see this push back towards having a different voice on campus,” Cole said. “What I had hoped for the University of Montana was that they would embrace this opportunity and sort of be a shining example of: ‘Yes, we are tolerant, we do accept different viewpoints.’ I can’t help but think that politics is playing a role here I would like to think that that is not happening, but I can’t help but think that that’s the reason.”

Abramson says he doesn’t believe there is any legal requirement to bring Mr. Adams to campus and indicated that Mr. Adam’s “values” were not in line with the J-school.

The university’s journalism school, Abramson claims, “does not have to invite people that we think don’t match with our priorities or are values as a tolerant, welcoming school.”

Read the report here.

MORE: College Campuses See Dramatic Spike In Speaker Disinvitations

MORE: Conservative Columnist George Will Disinvited to Speak at Women’s College

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