Commentary: How universities can restore free speech and constructive conversations

February 12, 2024 1 min read

Suzanne Nossel
Boston Globe

Excerpt: There is no quick fix or silver bullet solution to what ails our campuses. The issues making headlines and agitating quads — with students and faculty afraid to voice opinions and political debates waged through shouts and intimidation rather than reasoned inquiry — can’t be solved with a few high-profile gestures.

University leaders need to think big. Concerns over the unmooring of free speech, academic freedom, and ideological diversity on campus can only be addressed through campuswide transformation. Such change is possible: Universities have successfully adapted to coeducation and the drive toward environmental sustainability, to cite but two examples, with sweeping changes. Now universities need to make a similarly sustained and concerted effort to restore cultures where open exchange can thrive.

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