Princeton Free Speech News & Commentary

Commentary: Washington College Protesters Cancel Event with Princeton Professor As the College President Sits in the Audience

September 13, 2023 1 min read

Jonathan Turley
Jonathan Turley's Blog

Excerpt: We have yet another event cancelled by students who are opposed to allowing others to hear opposing views on campus. Students at Washington College blew whistles and yelled over Princeton University Professor Robert George to prevent him from speaking. While expressing disapproval, the College has yet to announce any disciplinary action against any student.
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Video: Free Speech Rights of Students with Keith Whittington and Myles McKnight

September 12, 2023 1 min read

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Commentary: Reply to John Wilson’s Critique of the Princeton Principles for a Campus Culture of Free Inquiry

September 12, 2023 1 min read

Donald A. Downs
Academe Blog

Excerpt: In late August, John Wilson posted a critique of the recently published Princeton Principles for a Campus Culture of Free Inquiry. I have long respected Wilson’s views on higher education. In this case, however, I find his critiques misplaced. The Principles’ authors had two main objectives: garnering support for the Principles by individuals and institutions and engendering a broader debate on reform. I welcome Wilson’s critique as a catalyst in this debate.
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Statement on Academic Freedom

September 11, 2023 1 min read

Christopher Eisgruber
Office of the President, Princeton University

Excerpt: Given the importance of academic freedom to what we do, I wanted to begin the year by reaffirming this University’s steadfast support for it.  I say this now because it has unfortunately become common for university faculty members here and elsewhere to become the target of viral social media storms focused on controversial materials that they assign or teach.  That has sometimes extended to demands that the University should ban or condemn a book, cancel a course, or discipline a professor.

We of course will not do that.  Academic freedom protects your right to decide what to teach and how to teach it.  That right, like the right to free speech on campus, is very broad indeed, and we will protect it.
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The ACLU’s Free-Speech Sophistry Comes to Princeton

September 09, 2023 1 min read

On August 29, Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, spoke alongside Princeton University president Christopher Eisgruber at a mandatory freshman-orientation event ostensibly meant to highlight the university’s commitment to freedom of speech and academic freedom. More than 1,000 Princeton freshmen were required to attend this event as a part of their regular sequence of orientation activities; I was there as an undergraduate academic adviser for freshmen and out of my own personal curiosity.

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2024 College Free Speech Rankings

September 08, 2023 1 min read

Foundation for Individual Rights in Expression and College Pulse
Excerpt: For the fourth year in a row, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a nonprofit organization committed to defending and sustaining the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought, and College Pulse surveyed college undergraduates about their perceptions and experiences regarding free speech on their campuses.

Last year, Princeton demonstrated a “below average” speech climate ranking #169 of 203. This year, Princeton ranked 187 of 248 and continued to maintain a “below average” rating.
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