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 SRU's Walwick Freedom of Speech Lecture Expands: Two Sessions Set 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:



     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. –  This year’s Theodore Walwik Freedom of Speech Lecture at Slippery Rock University has been expanded to include two nationally recognized experts, Donald Fishman, a member of the communication faculty at Boston College, and Jonathan Turley, respected legal scholar and a member of the George Washington University faculty.

     Fishman’s lecture will be given at 8 p.m. Sept. 28 and Turley will speak at 8 p.m. Oct. 19. Both lectures will be presented in SRU’s new Advanced Technology and Science Hall Auditorium.

     The lectures are free and underwritten by a grant from Dr. Theodore Walwik, SRU professor emeritus of communication, who dedicated his classroom work to explaining the value of free speech in an open society. Dr. Walwik, of Slippery Rock, served as chair of SRU’s communication department from 1971 to 1977 and from 1980-1992. Under his leadership, the department expanded to include some 350 majors with curricular emphases in speech communication, communication, journalism, public and corporate communication and communication education. The series is also supported by the College of Business, Information and Social Sciences and the SRU communication department.

     “It is indeed fortunate the university community and the community at-large will have the opportunity to hear from these very respected authorities on free speech,” said Dr. Bruce Russell, dean of SRU’s College of Business, Information and Social Sciences. “Dr. Walwik is proud to be able to bring such respected leaders to campus, with the hope students will glean insight to the workings of the constitution as well as a broad knowledge of the importance of freedom of speech.”

     Fishman’s lecture is titled "The 9/11 Presidency, the Patriot Act, and Civic Discourse in America." He teaches courses in “Communication Law,” “Crisis Communication,” “History of Mass Communication” and “Public Relations.” He is the recipient of the 1998 Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression and the 2001 Phifer Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Parliamentary Procedure. He also is the winner of the 2001 and 2003 O'Neill Award for the Top Paper in Freedom of Expression Division at the National Communication Association Convention. He was chair of the department of communication at Boston College for nine years.

     Fishman also is a former president of the Eastern Communication Association, and his administrative accomplishments included Interest Group reconfiguration and the signing of a new agreement to digitize and distribute each of the association’s three academic journals. He has twice been chairman of the Commission on American Parliamentary Practices and is working with a pilot group to create digital rules for parliamentary procedure and to update Roberts’ Rules of Order for the Internet.

     His most recent articles have been on libel law, the Supreme Court decision in United States v. O’Brien, Reading John Locke in Cyberspace, and Horace Kallen’s Theory of Cultural Pluralism. Fishman’s re-examination of Marshall McLuhan’s image is scheduled to appear in December. He completed his doctorate at Northwestern University, where he also earned his master of arts degree. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Minnesota. He makes his home in Newton Centre, Mass.

      Turley’s lecture is titled “Our Crisis of Faith: Perilous Times, Transient Principles & Madisonian Democracy." He teaches legal scholarship has been seen in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law.  He has written more than three dozen academic articles appearing in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, and other schools. After work at Tulane Law School, Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was awarded the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, as the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history.  In addition to his extensive publications, Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades ranging from representing whistleblowers, military personnel, and a wide range of other clients. These include his representation of the Area 51 workers at a secret air base in Nevada; the nuclear couriers at Oak Ridge, Tenn.; the Rocky Flats grand jury in Colorado; Dr. Eric Foretich, the husband in the famous Elizabeth Morgan custody controversy; and for four former U. S. Attorneys General during the Clinton impeachment litigation.

     He served as lead defense counsel in the successful defense of Petty Officer Daniel King, who faced the death penalty for alleged spying for Russia, and he has been ranked as one of the top 10 lawyers handling military cases.  Most recently, he serves as defense counsel in the case of Dr. Tom Butler, who is facing criminal charges dealing with the importation and handling of 30 vials of plague in Texas. He also currently represents Dr. Ali Al-Timimi, who was convicted in Virginia in 2005 of violent speech against the United States. Turley has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues, including the Florida House of Representatives and the American Legislative Exchange Counsel, the country’s largest organization of state legislators.

      He is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues as well as tort reform legislation, and is nationally recognized legal commentator.

      Professor Turley was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals” in the recent study by Judge Richard Posner. He was found to be the second most cited law professor in the country.

     He is on the board of contributors of USA Today and his work and quotes have appeared in multiple other national newspapers.  In 2005, he was presented the Columnist of the Year award for Single-Issue Advocacy for his columns on civil liberties by the Aspen Institute and the Week Magazine. He also appears regularly as a legal expert on all of the major television networks. Turley is often a guest on Sunday talk shows with more than two dozen appearances on Meet the Press, ABC This Week, Face the Nation, and Fox Sunday.

     His classroom work includes courses teaching “Constitutional Law,” “Constitutional Criminal Law,” “Environmental Law,” “Litigation,” and “Torts.” He is the founder and executive director of the Project for Older Prisoners.

      Dr. Thomas Flynn, professor of communication, is coordinator for the lecture series.

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