Cornell's President Defends Free Speech Against Illiberal Impulses

April 19, 2023 1 min read

Courtesy Cornell University

by Jacob Sullum, Reason Magazine

The last time I spoke at Cornell University, the turnout was tiny but attentive. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who graduated from Cornell a few years before I did, attracted a much larger crowd when she visited the campus in November, but her talk was repeatedly interrupted by loud and angry protesters, and she left in frustration after half an hour.

It was not a proud moment for Cornell. But the university's response to that embarrassing incident was encouraging, and Cornell President Martha Pollack recently provided further evidence that she is committed to defending civil debate and academic freedom against illiberal activists who cannot abide opposing views. Her example is worth emulating.


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