Campus Call for Free Expression Participating President:

DePauw University

Lori S. White, President

Lori S WhiteAs the president of DePauw University, I am often asked about my contention that a college campus cannot have a climate that fosters freedom of expression without an equal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Without including diverse people and perspectives, expression is potentially one-sided. And without adjustments to power imbalances among individuals and groups, one cannot have equal footing to debate. One of our highest priorities should be to help students develop tools to debate ideas and ensure all voices—and in particular, voices of those historically underrepresented and marginalized on our campuses—are heard and affirmed.” — Lori S. White

Campus Call for Free Expression Planned Activities

  • President White will deliver a first-year student convocation address on August 19, 2023, with a focus on the relationship between free expression and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging  
  • DePauw’s Ubben Lecture Series will continue its tradition to invite eminent speakers who bring a variety of perspectives on critical issues. 

About the President

Lori S. White was appointed the 21st president of DePauw University on March 4, 2020, and began her term on July 1, 2020. Most recently, she was the vice chancellor for student affairs and a professor of practice at Washington University in St. Louis. At DePauw, she also holds the rank of professor of education. She is the first woman and the first person of color to serve as DePauw’s president. 

Dr. White has spent 40 years working in higher education. Prior to her arrival at Washington University, she served as the vice president for student affairs and clinical professor of education at Southern Methodist University, and also has worked at the University of Southern California; Stanford, Georgetown and San Diego State universities; and the University of California, Irvine. 

Active nationally in several higher education organizations, Dr. White has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education) and for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Foundation (Chair, 2016-2017); in 2009 she was named a Pillar of the Profession by NASPA.  She currently serves on the Association of Governing Board’s Council of Presidents and is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Academic Leaders Task Force on Campus Free Expression.  Dr. White is one of five founding college Presidents of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA).  

Dr. White’s areas of emphasis in research and teaching include the student experience in higher education and the preparation and mentorship of new, mid-level and aspiring senior student affairs professionals. She is the author of a number of articles and book chapters and has presented widely at professional meetings. Her most recent publications appear in a co-edited volume titled “Transformational Encounters: Shaping Diverse College and University Leaders” and another titled “Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students: A Guide to Understanding the Many Facets of the Dean of Students Role.” 

Born and raised in San Francisco, Dr. White earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in education administration and policy analysis, with emphasis in higher education. She also participated in Harvard University’s Management and Leadership in Education  Program. 

Dr. White and her husband Anthony Tillman are both career educators with a deep passion and commitment to student access, equity and success. 

The Campus Call for Free Expression is a commitment by a diverse group of college presidents to urgently spotlight, uplift, and re-emphasize the principles of critical inquiry and civic discourse on their campuses. The Campus Call is centered on a coordinated set of presidential and campus activities focused on free expression that collectively amplify higher education’s role in preparing young people to be the empowered citizens our democracy needs.