Free Speech on College Campuses: An Evening with Former CC Dean Valentini and Distinguished Panelists at the Penn Club – A CUCNY Special

Free Speech on College Campuses: An Evening with Former CC Dean Valentini and Distinguished Panelists at the Penn Club – A CUCNY Special

Join CUCNY for a special panel at the Penn Club about freedom of speech on college campuses.

Free speech on college campuses is at a critical point. The AP announced that the presidents of a wide-ranging group of 13 universities are elevating free speech on their campuses this academic year, as part of a new nonprofit initiative entitled the Campus Call for Free Expression. The initiative is designed “to cultivate the freedom of expression on campuses and help students work together to find solutions to complicated, divisive problems.”

Join us for an exciting discussion on the state of free speech on college campuses that will feature former Columbia College Dean James Valentini (Professor of Chemistry; Dean Emeritus of Columbia College; Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor Emeritus; and recipient of the Society of Columbia Graduates 2023 Great Teacher Award), as well as Professor Jonathan Rieder (Professor of Sociology at Barnard College) and Professor Eli M. Noam (Professor of Economics and Finance at the Columbia Business School), and possibly others.

The former Dean will lead the panel discussion on the state of free speech on College campuses.

  • Location: Penn Club of New York
    Date: October 16, 2023
  • Registration: 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Panel:  6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Cocktail Reception:  7:30 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Price: $35 per person
  • RSVP:  Register Here

This event is being co-sponsored by the Columbia University Club of New York and the Society of Columbia Graduates. This is a unique opportunity for members of both clubs to connect with Former Dean Valentini, Professor Jonathan Reider, Professor Eli Noam, and other Columbia alumni in Midtown, Manhattan.

Hope to see you there!

About the Panelists

James J. Valentini, Professor of Chemistry, Dean Emeritus of Columbia College, Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor Emeritus

James J. Valentini, often affectionately called “Deantini” by Columbia undergraduates, is renowned for his distinguished service to the academic community. Holding the titles of Professor of Chemistry, Dean Emeritus of Columbia College, Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor Emeritus, he is also a proud recipient of the Society of Columbia Graduates 2023 Great Teacher Award.

Serving as Dean from September 2011 to June 2022, Valentini spearheaded the “Core to Commencement” campaign, introduced transformative student initiatives like “My Columbia College Journey” and “Live Well | Learn Well,” and celebrated milestones such as the Core Curriculum’s centennial. A steadfast advocate for enhancing the student experience, he also championed global opportunities, research, and alumni engagement. Prior to his deanship, he held significant roles within Columbia’s chemistry department and made noteworthy contributions at institutions like Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine.

For a more in-depth exploration of Dean Valentini’s work and contributions, interested individuals can visit the website:

Jonathan Reider, Professor of Sociology, Barnard College

Jonathan Rieder, a prominent sociologist, has been a fixture at Barnard College and Columbia University since 1990. As the former chair of the department at Barnard from 1990 to 2003, Rieder’s academic journey has also graced institutions such as Yale University and Swarthmore College. He is renowned for courses on contemporary American culture and politics, music, race and identity, and the broader sociology of culture.

Rieder’s illustrious scholarship boasts accolades from renowned institutions, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Du Bois Institute at Harvard. Central to his oeuvre are his acclaimed works on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he’s currently penning a piece titled Bittersweet Home Alabama.

Not just contained to the academic world, Rieder’s voice on Dr. King has resonated on major media platforms, adding depth to discussions on race and racial conflict. His early work, Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against Liberalism, stands as a testament to his deep understanding of race dynamics.

In the 1990s, Rieder co-founded CommonQuest: The Magazine of Black-Jewish Relations, emphasizing his dedication to fostering dialogue on race relations. His insights, spanning articles and reviews, have illuminated the pages of The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The New Republic, among other notable publications.

For more information, please view his profile on the following website:

Eli Noam, Professor of Economics and Finance, Columbia Business School

Eli Noam serves as a Special Research Scholar in the Faculty of Business, Economics Division at Columbia University and holds the position of Director at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information. His primary expertise lies in Media Microeconomics. With a distinguished career in academia, he’s held titles such as Professor of Economics, Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility, emeritus, and has had the privilege of teaching at institutions including Columbia Law School, Princeton University, and the universities of St. Gallen and Fribourg in Switzerland.

Professor Noam has made significant contributions to the fields of telecommunications, internet, and electronic mass media, which is evident from his extensive publication record: 37 books and over 350 articles. Some of his recent works include Digitized Labor, Managing Media and Digital Organizations, and the award-winning Who Owns the World’s Media. He also offered insights as a regular columnist for the Financial Times online edition.

Beyond academia, Noam’s impact is highlighted by his service as the Public Services Commissioner of New York State, his appointment to the President’s IT Advisory Committee, and leadership roles such as the President of the International Media Management Academic Association from 2013-2015. He has also been a part of various advisory boards, including the Federal government’s telecommunications network, the IRS computer system, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Eli Noam’s academic journey commenced at Harvard University, where he acquired his AB, AM, Ph.D. in Economics, and JD. He also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Munich and the University of Marseilles. Outside the academic realm, Noam has served as a commercially rated pilot and was involved in the Israel Air Force in the wars of 1967 and 1973. He has been wed to Nadine Strossen, a law professor and former national president of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Please view Eli Noam’s profile at