Penn faculty call for ‘New Constitution’ recommitting university to free speech principles

December 14, 2023 1 min read

Jessica Wills
Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

Excerpt: Faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania are concerned that free expression and viewpoint diversity may disappear completely from their university.  After a tense congressional hearing in which then-President Liz Magill said the university would not punish many forms of constitutionally protected speech — including anti-Semitic speech — Magill backtracked the next day via a video apology in which she signaled her willingness to abandon constitutional standards for free speech. Shortly afterward, she resigned.

In the wake of this shakeup, the future of free speech at Penn is far from certain. Others, however, would like to see the school revive its commitment to free speech. In that spirit, some faculty members drafted a “New Constitution for the University of Pennsylvania,” a vision for the university which calls Penn to recommit itself to intellectual diversity, institutional neutrality, and open discourse.

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