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Wednesday 02/24

Navigating Issues of Free Speech and Academic Freedom within Academia 



The objectives of the event are to a) help familiarize academic audiences with the nuances associated with navigating free speech as instructors, researchers,  and students; b) introduce academic freedom and how it may intersect with free speech within higher education, and c) acquaint academic audiences with available campus resources at UC Merced concerning free speech and academic freedom. After attending the event, the academic audience will have a working knowledge of issues surrounding free speech, academic freedom, and the valuable campus resources available to aid in navigating these issues.

Speakers: Dr. Jonathan Grady, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students & Dr. Chris Kello, Interim Vice Provost & Graduate Dean, Professor of Cognitive & Information Sciences

Jonathan Grady, Ph.D.Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students

Dr. Jonathan Grady serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Studentsat UC Merced. Utilizing a social justice framework rooted in community cultural wealth, criticalness, accountability, and love, Dr. Grady focuses on building structures and systems to enhance campus climate, improving student success outcomes, and creating a more equitable, just, and inclusive institutional culture. Dr. Grady promotes excellence in all that he does and creates critical pedagogical practices and strategies that question current norms and practices and seeks to empower and uplift students and their communities. Dr. Grady holds a doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) in urban education with a concentration in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a master’s degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University.




Chris Kello, Ph.D.Interim Vice Provost & Graduate Dean | Professor of Cognitive & Information Sciences

Dr. Chris Kello earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Cruz.He was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University and advanced research associate at the House Ear Institute before joining the faculty at George Mason University in 2001. He received an early career award from the National Science Foundation for his integration of computational and experimental studies of speech and reading, and went on to become program director of the Perception, Action, and Cognition program at NSF. He also oversaw two NSF Science of Learning Centers and received an NSF Director’s award before joining UC Merced in 2008 as a Professor of Cognitive Science.Dr. Kello has served as both Interim and Associate Graduate Dean for several years, and he has led or co-led several sponsored research projects totaling over $6 million dollars, including two NSF-funded graduate training programs. He has over 100 publications across a variety of fields and research communities, with a broad emphasis on interdisciplinary studies of human behavior