Commentary: A Glimmer of Hope in the Ivory Tower

June 13, 2023 1 min read

By Jonathan Nicastro
National Review

Excerpt: The outgoing and incoming presidents of Dartmouth College, Phil Hanlon and Sian Beilock, respectively, recently published a robust defense of free speech in the Boston Globe. Not only do Beilock and Hanlon dismiss the silencing of people for supposedly harmful opinions as illegitimate, but they also explicitly recognize the self-censorship of conservative students in “today’s left-leaning higher education landscape.”

Not to be mistaken for Republicans, the two presidents highlight right-wing threats to freedom of expression, citing a Florida bill (HB 999) that would ban the gender studies major, queer theory, and critical race theory from public colleges and universities. In the same sentence, Beilock and Hanlon take the censorship-prone Left to task, pointing to “progressives who want to restrict potentially upsetting content” as another insupportable attack on academic inquiry.

Click here for link to full article

Leave a comment

Also in National Free Speech News & Commentary

Commentary: In Defense of the AAUP Statement on Polarizing Times

November 29, 2023 1 min read

John K. Wilson
Academe Blog

Excerpt: It’s always distressing during contentious times when neutral statements for free speech are twisted beyond recognition with false smears of bias and bigotry. In a November 27 essay in The Hill, Northwestern law professor Steven Lubet denounced the American Association of University Professors for a November 15 statement, “Polarizing Times Demand Robust Academic Freedom,” claiming that it has “a distressing anti-Israel bias.” I don’t work for the AAUP, and I don’t speak for the AAUP, but I think Lubet’s charge is completely incorrect and unsupported by any evidence.
Read More
Renowned scholars sign declaration launching global free speech movement

November 29, 2023 1 min read

Matthew Xiao
College Fix

Excerpt: A politically diverse group of 138 public figures recently signed and published the Westminster Declaration, a statement aimed at advancing a global free speech movement.

“We recognize that words can sometimes cause offense, but we reject the idea that hurt feelings and discomfort, even if acute, are grounds for censorship,” it states. “Open discourse is the central pillar of a free society, and is essential for holding governments accountable, empowering vulnerable groups, and reducing the risk of tyranny.”
Read More
Commentary: Hypocritical definitions of ‘academic freedom’ empower extremists

November 27, 2023 1 min read

Steven Lubet
The Hill

Excerpt: The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) quite rightly calls itself the “most prominent guardian of academic freedom” for faculty and students in the U.S. In a recent statement on the Israel-Hamas war, however, titled “Polarizing Times Demand Robust Academic Freedom” the AAUP displayed a distressing anti-Israel bias that sadly undermines its commitment to even-handed protection of free expression.
Read More