University of Montana President Sheila Stearns has contacted Professor Mike Adams, whose invitation to address the School of Journalism was retracted by Dean Larry Abramson, to let him know he has not been banned altogether from speaking on campus.

KGVO News spoke with President Stearns on Friday, who said she spoke with Professor Adams before media reports about his speech were published.

“Before there were any media stories that I knew of, I reached out to Professor Adams when I heard from him that he had been, he thought, banned from speaking on the University of Montana campus,” said Stearns. “He was not banned, at least not from the perspective of the president’s office, and I said to him, ‘you’re not banned from speaking at the university, and as far as I’m concerned, as president, you will always receive a safe and respectful reception if you come here to speak. I really believe that content or possibly political points of view should never be a consideration in scheduling a campus event.”

When asked about Journalism Dean Larry Abramson’s retraction of his invitation to speak for the Cole Scholarship lecture, she said that was his own decision.

“I also mentioned that whether or not any specific faculty or dean or schools or colleges connect or sponsor a speaker, that’s a whole different issue as to whether they’re invited to be a part of that curriculum or part of classes, and the administration doesn’t get involved in that. But, we never ban people from campus because they have what some might think are politically controversial views.”

Asked if Dean Abramson had reached out to the president’s office to ask that Adams not be allowed on campus, Stearns replied, “Of course not. He would never do that.”


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