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Senate Bill 83: Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act

Politics & Public Policy

Senate Bill 83: Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act

Friday, May 12, 2023
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Doors at 11:15am / Lunch at 11:30am / Forum begins 12:00pm

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"The bill styles itself as a free speech bill, but it would actually explicitly censor the speech of our public universities." – Deborah C. Smith, Ph.D.

Led by Senator Jerry Cirino, statehouse Republicans are working to pass Senate Bill 83, known as the Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act. It would lead to sweeping changes for the state’s public universities and colleges if passed. While SB 83 mainly applies to public institutions, it could also affect private colleges and universities that receive state dollars. The bill was introduced last month and is currently in Senate committee.

Supporters believe the bill will strengthen First Amendment rights and reshape Ohio’s higher education system to meet the needs of the 21st century. In a news release, Senator Cirino said, “This bill will move us toward true academic freedom. We need students to be taught how to think not what to think.

Critics of the bill include education groups and college faculty from across the state. The Ohio chapter of the American Association of University Professors accused the bill of attempting “to micromanage public–and to an extent, private–colleges and universities on a variety of issues, most of which are rooted in the culture wars.”

Join us at the City Club as Glenn Forbes from Ideastream Public Media leads a conversation with both proponents and opponents of SB 83, and what it could mean for higher education in Ohio.


The livestream will be available beginning at 12:00pm. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.

For more information on City Club's health and safety protocols, click here. Email with any questions.

Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.

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