About the Marketplace of Ideas

Free Expression and UNE's Mission

At UNE, we believe that free expression, open inquiry, and respectful debate are crucial to our mission — supporting healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy planet. In accordance with these guiding principles, we cultivate a lively and robust marketplace of ideas that empowers members of our community to assess information, draw rational conclusions, and use that knowledge to build creative, effective solutions in a troubled world.

At the core of this belief is intellectual humility — a recognition that we all have a lot to learn from others with different knowledge and perspectives. This is true even if sometimes the process makes us feel uncomfortable or we encounter ideas with which we passionately disagree. The pursuit of knowledge is a journey. Discovery, debate, disagreement, and a willingness to change one’s mind are what make the journey so rewarding.

“Yea to it All” — Commencement Addresses

2022 Commencement Speaker Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D., and UNE President James D. Herbert, Ph.D., deliver empowering messages to UNE graduates. The two recognize that this is a time of extraordinary conflict and fragmentation. But our commitment to free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas gives students the tools to flourish and succeed in challenging times.

Student speaking at an event
Student drawing out idea for patient-oriented app
Students and President Herbert at the Women's March in 2021
Students at the Black Lives Matter March in 2020
Student speaking at an event