Michael Knowles, University of St. Thomas

February 2022
University of St. Thomas (Private college or university)
St Paul, MN

Identity of Speakers

  • Michael Knowles
    Invited for non-academic lecture

    Political commentator

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    University-sponsored lecture/address/panel
    Other student-organized event
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Right wing
  • Incident Responses:
    Student sanctioned
    Staff Sanctioned
    Rally or Protests
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Was Speech Code incident


A University of St. Thomas group, the College Republicans, sought to have political commentator Michael Knowles to campus. Michael Knowles is a conservative aligned political commentator, author, and media host. Additionally, he has written for The Daily Wire, an American conservative news website and media company.

Following this request an official complaint to the Higher Learning Commission, was filed. It was claimed that the institution was violating their commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression “in the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning.”

After the complaint, the University denied the request to have Michael Knowles speech due to his comments regarding transgender ideology. Following the denial, Knowles himself spoke out against this decision, alongside a conservative group that started a petition urging the school to reverse its decision. Their petition claimed that this restriction represented a threat to free speech and freedom of thought.