Commentary: It Can Happen Here?

October 20, 2023 1 min read

John Aubrey Douglass
Academe Blog

Excerpt: There is much to worry about as we approach 2024: attacks on academic freedom, on free speech, on open societies, and attempts to degrade democracy, and not just here in the United States. As I discuss in my article “Here and Abroad, Universities Face an Autocratic Playbook” in the recent issue of Academe, there are stories in almost all the corners of the world concerning the importance of academic freedom and the general concept of universities as unique and valuable autonomous or semi-autonomous institutions under attack.

The war in Ukraine, systematic suppression of faculty and student voices in Russia, jailing of the same in China and Turkey, restraints on academic freedom in Hungary and elsewhere, and now the horrific events in Israel and Gaza—all bring home the reality that academics must navigate through the political and harsh realities of the world.

Click here for link to full article

Leave a comment


Also in National Free Speech News & Commentary

DEI on the Run

May 16, 2024 1 min read

The Editors
National Review

Excerpt: It was a great racket while it lasted, but so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have spent the last year in retreat — compelling the practitioners of discriminatory “social justice” to conduct a flailing rearguard action in a flight to more defensible terrain.
Read More
Some Cave To Protests: Vanderbilt, Florida, And Chicago Stand Firm

May 15, 2024 1 min read

Michael Poliakoff
Forbes

Excerpt: In 1931, Winston Churchill mocked the prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, as a “boneless wonder.” The last couple weeks on campus have already given us too many such specimens whose tergiversation and ethical compromise are yet more egregious.

Wise institutions have steadily, especially since October 7, recognized, albeit late, the wisdom of the University of Chicago’s 1967 Kalven Committee: Report on the University’s Role in Political and Social Action. Written amidst the desperate turmoil of the Vietnam war, it counsels “a heavy presumption against the university taking collective action or expressing opinions on the political and social issues of the day, or modifying its corporate activities to foster social or political values, however compelling and appealing they may be.”
Read More
UNC-Chapel Hill Trustees move to divert DEI funds to police and public safety

May 14, 2024 1 min read

Kyle Ingram and Korie Dean
Raleigh News & Observer

Excerpt: The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted to divert millions of dollars spent on diversity, equity and inclusion programs into public safety instead, ahead of an expected policy change statewide to restrict DEI.

At a special meeting Monday morning, the board unanimously moved to reallocate the $2.3 million that the university spends on DEI programs toward police and other public safety measures as part of its annual budget approval process. The university’s operating budget totaled more than $4 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Read More