An Open Letter to College and University Trustees and Regents: It’s Time to Adopt Institutional Neutrality

February 07, 2024 1 min read

1 Comment

Academic Freedom Alliance, Heterodox Academy, FIRE

Excerpt: We stand together in sending this entreaty to college and university trustees and regents across the country during this time of growing national concern about the fate and security of free thought on campuses.

It is time for those entrusted with ultimate oversight authority for your institutions to restore truth-seeking as the primary mission of higher education by adopting a policy of institutional neutrality on social and political issues that do not concern core academic matters or institutional operations.

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1 Response

Gideon Steinbach
Gideon Steinbach

February 13, 2024

The excellent discussion by Christie Davis serves as strong evidence for why universities must adopt political and ideological neutrality. The scholarly discussion resorts to inflammatory politics to either support or counter scholarly statements. For instance it provides the “DeSantis” response to DEI, rather than the scientific response, rigorously presented by groups of scientists, such as: Abbot et al, https://journalofcontroversialideas.org/article/3/1/236. Academic neutrality on political issues, protects students, faculty, and the public from indoctrination, which is the intrusion of political ideologies into scholarly discourse. As referred in the discussion, we in the Northeast are not intimidated by DeSantis, and we in the South are not intimidated by Biden. Neutrality keeps us focused on scientific rather than ideological methods for pursuing knowledge. As an aside. let’s also glimpse at the historical perspective. During the anti-Vietnam-war demonstrations, we were starved for information and listened to the speakers to find out the facts. The demonstration leaders were few and publicly accountable. Today, students have the responsibility to perform the rigorous research prior to the demonstration, and the responsibility to critically appraise what they hear. The days of blindly cheering the leader are gone.
Gideon Steinbach, MD PhD

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