Tag Archives: academicfreedom

Reading: Demon vs. Monster: The Vice-Presidential Debate and an Historian’s Harassment

From Demon vs. Monster: The Vice-Presidential Debate and an Historian’s Harassment

from Hank Reichman on Academe Blog

The scare quotes are disdainful when they come from a university president.

But what is really shocking is how this alleged “educational leader,” a college president, could evidence such rank disdain for the academy’s and society’s most precious core values by placing the words academic freedom and free speech in scare quotes.

What signals danger, however, is that the president was so easily drawn by trolls.

Reading: Trump’s Attack on Campus Free Speech


How to manipulate free speech guarantees.

The Trump Administration needed to deal with the problem that the colleges with the worst speech codes are conservative religious colleges. The solution was to include a hypocritical rule in the Executive Order that says private colleges will be judged only by “compliance with stated institutional policies.” Since conservative colleges openly state that they suppress free speech, they will be immune from any action (not that any Trump official would ever dare to punish a conservative college).

By contrast, if a more liberal private college aspires to protect free speech, they can have their federal funds taken away based on a Republican bureaucrat’s regulatory interpretation of the campus’ values. This Executive Order will tend to reduce free speech at private colleges, because colleges will have an incentive to remove any promises to protect free speech in order to avoid being vulnerable to federal funding cutbacks. And if private colleges have policies that provide stronger protections for free speech than the First Amendment (as many do), they can lose federal funding even if they meet First Amendment standards.

bookmarks for February 3rd, 2013