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Flags at half-staff and "the clash of ideas"

Dear University of Maryland community, 

The American and Maryland flags are flying at half-staff through Thursday, November 19, as directed by President Obama and the Maryland Secretary of State, to honor the victims of the Paris attack. This is also a time for our University community to express solidarity with the victims of terrorism across the globe. 

Our Office of International Affairs is attempting to contact all University students, faculty, and staff who are now in Paris to offer them any assistance they may need. 

The horrific violence stands in contrast to the vigorous, sometimes angry, debates and protests now roiling college campuses. In an institution of higher learning, we believe that free and open discourse can promote better understanding among people of different races, religions, and backgrounds. We believe that better understanding will help bridge these differences.

These values informed a commentary on "The Clash of Ideas Strengthen our Universities—and Our Nation." I wrote it at the invitation of Time magazine and it appeared today: 

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland