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Immediate Conversations Required

Presidents should engage with their boards during campus protests and conflicts over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Boards should hold administrators accountable and ask for after-action reports. Conversations between presidents and boards should focus on free speech and academic freedom, campus safety and continuity, student care and well-being, and board governance. Boards should understand the importance of speech freedoms and academic freedom, as well as the institution’s policies regarding protests. Presidents should discuss risk mitigation and safety measures, business continuity plans, and communication strategies with boards. They should also address the impact of conflicts on students’ well-being and mental health. Boards should consider divestment policies and reputational risks. The ultimate goal is to protect the institution for the long term.

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