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National News 

Feb 16, 2024

New FIRE model legislation takes on DEI bureaucracy’s chilling effect on campus

FIRE has criticized the ever-increasing bureaucratization of our nation’s colleges for years. As Greg Lukianoff and Adam Goldstein put it a few years back: “The further a university drifts from its academic purpose, the less committed it will be to academic freedom.”

Having spent more than two decades defending free speech and academic freedom on campus, FIRE knows too well just how true that is. When colleges act more like giant corporations and less like educational institutions, student and faculty rights suffer.

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Jan 23, 2024

Stanford Law students shout down 5th Circuit judge: A post-mortem

Even Stanford agreed actions by law students — and inaction by administrators — threatened free speech. So where do we go from here?

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Jan 17, 2024

The American Bar Association’s Coming Free-Speech Intervention

The liberal ABA may save law schools from themselves.

Higher education did not have a good year in 2023, as evidenced by high-profile resignations at Penn (Liz Magill) and Harvard (Claudine Gay). This followed abysmal televised congressional testimony in which the two Ivy League presidents and MIT’s Sally Kornbluth refused to condemn campus calls for genocide against Jews. Harvard’s disgrace was compounded by revelations of serial plagiarism on the part of Gay.

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Jan 13, 2024

As a new generation rises, tension between free speech and inclusivity on college campuses simmers

Generations of Americans have held firm to a version of free speech that makes room for even the vilest of views. It’s girded by a belief that the good ideas rise above the bad, that no one should be punished for voicing an idea — except in rare cases where the idea could lead directly to illegal action.

Today, that idea faces competition more forceful and vehement than it has seen for a century.

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Dec 20, 2023

HILL: Tax universities and colleges

Remember the days when college presidents were paid a pittance since universities sponsored by religious organizations and state governments couldn’t pay them a lot in salary? Or when coaches had to tend bar during the off-season to make ends meet?

Yeah, me neither.

Higher education institutions, public and private, were granted nonprofit, tax-exempt status a long time ago to help them compete with the private sector to attract the best and the brightest faculty, administrators and coaches to teach the next generation of citizens. Everything about granting them nonprofit status had to do with “enhancing the educational experience” of every student on campus, not just the jocks or administrators.

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Dec 11, 2023

Campus Culture at a Crossroads: A Letter From the President

Dear members and supporters,

College and university responses to the October 7 attacks by Hamas, and the subsequent response by Israel, have put questions of campus culture in the public spotlight like never before. The clumsy and tone-deaf statements by university presidents in the immediate wake of the attack and, even more dramatically, before Congress last week, have served to deepen public distrust in higher education and its values. As a nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement, HxA takes no position on the moral and political questions raised by the conflict in the Middle East. We do take a position on what role higher education should play.

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Dec 9, 2023

What Universities Should Punish and What They Shouldn't

Talia Khan, an MIT graduate student, had a detailed and powerful statement about what she sees as anti-Semitism on campus (apparently written in response to an invitation from Reps. Fox and Stefanek).

And I think it well reflects how many different things are being mixed together here. For instance, the statement refers to "a radical anti-Israel group at MIT called the CAA" whose members have "stormed the offices of Jewish faculty and staff in the MIT Israel internship office. Staff reported fearing for their lives, as students went door to door trying to unlock the offices." If this is accurate, then it should certainly be punished. Likewise as to "Jewish students being physically blocked from moving through the anti-Israel crowd through the main MIT lobby."

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Oct 18, 2023

College Presidents Issue Statement Supporting Israel And ‘Moral Clarity’ In War With Hamas

As turmoil over the escalating Israel-Hamas war continues to affect campuses across the world, a multifaith group of U.S. college presidents has issued a statement saying the moment requires “moral clarity” and that they “stand with Israel, with the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas’s cruel rule in Gaza, and with all people of moral conscience.”

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Oct 14, 2023

Abigail Shrier Speaks on Grounds, Sparks Protest and Controversy Among Students

HATE HAS NO HOME AT UVA. The words have been plastered all over UVA Grounds for the past week, stretching from the first-year dorms to lampposts on the Corner and covering every pillar of Minor Hall.

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Sep 18, 2023

ABA's law school free speech proposal moves forward

Aug 18 (Reuters) - The American Bar Association’s legal education arm on Friday advanced a proposal that would require all law schools to have written free speech policies that protect the exchange of ideas and prohibit disruptive activities.

The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted to send the new freedom of expression rule out for public notice and comment.

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Aug 11, 2023

Principles for a Campus Culture of Free Inquiry

A group of scholars interested in free inquiry and the future of higher education met in Princeton last spring and began a conversation about what principles ought to guide a well-functioning scholarly institution dedicated to the mission of the preservation and advancement of knowledge. With radical proposals for higher education reform very much in the air, especially on the political right, it was hoped that it would be helpful to have a statement clarifying the objectives that any reform measure should be seeking to advance.

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Aug 2, 2023

Faculty Fight for Academic Freedom at Harvard

The National Association of Scholars is delighted that 52 Harvard University professors have formed a Council on Academic Freedom. This group will “advocate for the free and civil exchange of ideas on campus” by promoting the principles of free inquiry, civil discourse, and intellectual diversity. Harvard, no less than other universities, needs professors who defend intellectual freedom—and freedom in general.

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Jun 20, 2023

Colleges Should Compete on Free Speech

The lists of “top colleges” have varied little in many years. They always include the Ivies, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech, etc. But that could change. Colleges of all types can differentiate themselves on the core values of free speech and academic freedom, and those that do will increasingly attract more and better students, faculty, and employment opportunities for their graduates.

There are many factors that go into choosing a college or grad school – affordability, location, and strength in specific disciplines – but many parents and students are overly focused on the prestige of the school.

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Jun 15, 2023

Universities Shouldn’t Be Ideological Churches

No one should be made to feel like an “insider” or “outsider” depending on his or her views about abortion, drug legalization, or other contentious issues.

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Jun 15, 2023

The complicated landscape of college free speech

The national conversation over free speech on college campuses is as raw and as polarized as our overall political discourse. No surprise there. What is surprising is our refusal to connect the two.

Let me explain.

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Jun 7, 2023

These states are finding creative ways to support free speech on campus

The scenes of ideological intolerance have become all too familiar to Americans. Law students shouting down a federal judge at Stanford Law School. College students protesting the new president of the University of Florida, former Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse. Many of our most prestigious colleges and universities have been reduced to ideological monocultures – both inside and outside the classroom.

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May 2, 2023

Universities are losing the battle on free speech

Is the era of woke censorship coming to an end on campus? The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, among others, are heralding a new epoch in which university leaders stand up to snowflake students. While it’s encouraging that progressive legacy media outlets are nailing their free speech colours to the mast, these are counter-wavelets on the surface of a rising swell. Progressive illiberalism is not going anywhere because it is baked into the demography of tomorrow’s professors.

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Apr 14, 2023

Opinion: College campus hecklers, your disruptions don’t count as free speech

America is experiencing two disturbing simultaneous trends: the rise of mob censorship to shut down speaking events on college campuses, and an attempt to justify it as merely the exercise of “more speech.”

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Apr 5, 2023

MIT Debate: Should Academic DEI Programs be Abolished?

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Mar 16, 2023

Davidson College Affirms Free Speech

By approving its own version of a noted free-expression statement, the liberal-arts institution takes a major step in the right direction.

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Mar 16, 2023

Our Rising Generation of Censors: Stanford and Davis Expose America’s Anti-Free Speech Movement

Below is my column in on the recent controversies at Stanford University and University of California at Davis where students sought to prevent others from hearing conservative speakers. These are only the latest manifestations of a growing anti-free speech movement across our campuses.

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Mar 15, 2023

Stanford Law hecklers demanding ‘free speech’ don’t know what they’re asking for

The free-speech fallout at Stanford Law School continues after last Thursday’s headline-making, administrator-endorsed shoutdown of a federal judge by students who said his views were too “harmful” to be aired on campus.

Hundreds of students dressed in black and donning face masks emblazoned with the words “counter-speech is free speech” lined the halls of Stanford Law on Monday to protest Dean Jenny Martinez’s subsequent apology to Fifth Circuit judge Stuart Kyle Duncan for the treatment he received when he attempted to speak at the school last week.

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Mar 10, 2023

‘Dogs—t’: Federal Judge Decries Disruption of His Remarks by Stanford Law Students and Calls for Termination of the Stanford Dean Who Joined the Mob

Fifth Circuit appellate judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, who was shouted down by Stanford Law School students as administrators looked on in silence, says the protesters behaved like "dogshit."

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Dec 23, 2022

Column: Free expression is a foundation of excellence in education

Watching world events and controversies unfold, such as Russian control of news on the war in Ukraine, may give us a sense of First Amendment pride here. Yet make no mistake: Our nation struggles daily with the impact of and limits on free expression in classrooms, media, social channels and the public square. More than ever, especially among those of us entrusted with leading America’s colleges and universities, we see the need to articulate and help build the skills and dispositions enabled by free expression. We recognize the challenge. Civil discourse requires openness to hard truths, a commitment to facts as a public good, recognition and discussion of what may be perceived as hateful or offensive, and understanding that honorable people may deeply disagree. As our faculty, students, staff and graduates grow these capacities, they are better prepared to contribute to bringing society together rather than pulling it apart.

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Dec 14, 2022

After a 15-year decline, more colleges have become hostile to free speech

The (college) kids are not alright. While it may come as no surprise at this point, a new analysis spotlights just how hostile to free speech our system of higher education has become — and it’s getting worse.

The nonpartisan Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression just released its updated campus free-speech rankings, which evaluate 486 US colleges and universities. The group finds that the vast majority of these schools restrict free speech.

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Sep 30, 2022

Restoring Free Speech at Our Universities

Now that the autumn semester is well underway, it is worth asking whether students have a chance to participate in free and open debate. The short answer is “No, they don’t.” They don’t have a chance to explore unpopular ideas and controversial opinions. They are “protected” from ideas that might make them uncomfortable. What’s being stifled here is more than speech. It’s their education and, with it, their preparation to live in a tolerant society, where fellow citizens hold different views.

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Jun 22, 2022

Hill: In America, Free Speech is Good

Freedom of expression and competition among a very few extraordinary people are at the heart of major advancements in human history. When both are allowed to flourish, everyone benefits. When either one, or both, are suppressed in any way for any individual, we all suffer the consequences.

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Jun 8, 2022

La Noue: New School Institutional Trends? Charitable Prudence Needed

When persons of means contemplate death, the question of where to leave their financial assets becomes acute. If they are higher education graduates, their former campuses have “advancement teams” ready to answer questions, provide forms, and urge investments in their institutions. Sometimes they will appeal to altruism, sometimes ideology, and sometimes ego. Would you like to have your name on this activity or building? Such administrators believe that “where there is a Will, there is a way.”

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May 2, 2022

Some Lessons from the Sorry History of Campus Speech Codes

Concern about the proliferation of hate speech motivates many who oppose the recent acquisition of Twitter by billionaire Elon Musk, who says he plans to turn the heavily moderated platform into a bastion for free speech. Sources ranging from writers at major news publications to CEOs have voiced fears that free-speech-friendly policies will make the platform a haven for “totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny,” as actress Jameela Jamil put it in her farewell-to-Twitter tweet.

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Apr 1, 2022

Alumni Unite for Freedom of Speech

Readers of these pages are well aware that free speech, academic freedom and viewpoint diversity are in big trouble at U.S. universities. But many of those worried over the state of campuses are almost resigned to the idea that forces of illegal intolerance have won.

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Mar 28, 2022

What Is Free Speech Without Intellectual Diversity?

Eleven days ago the Editorial Board of the Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia student newspaper, opined that it could not condone the “platforming” of former Vice President Mike Pence by allowing him to speak on the university grounds.

The blowback has been gratifying to see.

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Mar 16, 2022

Hundreds of Yale Law Students Disrupt Bipartisan Free Speech Event

More than 100 students at Yale Law School attempted to shout down a bipartisan panel on civil liberties, intimidating attendees and causing so much chaos that police were eventually called to escort panelists out of the building.

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Mar 8, 2022

How Princeton Eviscerated Its Free Speech Rule and Covered It Up

In July 2020, a Princeton University professor, Joshua Katz, wrote an article containing provocative language that generated controversy on campus. While voicing strong disagreement with that language, Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber clearly and publicly stated a few days later that it was protected by Princeton’s university-wide rule on free speech. But since then, through other Princeton officials, the university has for over a year viciously attacked Professor Katz as a racist on its website and elsewhere for the exact same language. These attacks have clearly violated the Princeton free speech rule, as well as other Princeton rules.

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Feb 27, 2022

How Michigan’s Ballooning DEI Bureaucracy Stifled Speech and Divided the Campus

It started as a crude joke among friends at the University of Michigan’s Student Veterans of America chapter, one member ribbing another in an online chat about her sexual proclivity.

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Jan 18, 2022

Penn caves to pressure, initiates disciplinary proceedings against tenured law professor Amy Wax

Today, Dean Theodore Ruger of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School did an about-face, abandoning both his earlier defense of the importance of faculty expressive rights and his university’s strong policies purporting to secure those rights.

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Jan 14, 2022

Can Politics Get Better When Higher Education Keeps Getting Worse?

Only a few years ago, several well-established features of the current political landscape were too absurd to be taken seriously.

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Jan 10, 2022

Telltale Signs Your College Professor Is A Secret Conservative

College is hard enough without having your progressive values challenged. It’s important to make sure that your learning space is a safe and equitable environment. There is nothing worse in life than a. micro-aggression under the guise of an options

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Dec 29, 2021

Admitting it the first step? College administrators acknowledge free expression deficiency

College administrators are now acknowledging they have created environments on their campuses that diminish free expression and choke intellectual liveliness.

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Oct 19, 2021

Fox News Video

Alumni Free Speech Alliance created to support free speech at colleges.

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Aug 20, 2021

Which Colleges Don't Require SAT/ACT Scores for 2021-2022 Admissions?

The novel coronavirus has had a massive impact on colleges, and that includes college admissions. Because of stay-at-home orders, virtual learning, and cancelled SAT and ACT exam dates, among other things, many universities are aware that it might be difficult or impossible for incoming high school seniors to take and do well on standardized tests in time for application deadlines.

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Jun 21, 2021

My Road to Cancellation

Wokeism,” America’s new civil religion, draws on elements of neo-Marxism, critical race theory, social justice and identity politics. Its adherents believe it will lead to a more just society. Its detractors, on the other hand, believe its “cancel culture” will push civil society to the brink. And, for the “woke,” either will do.

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Alumni Withhold Donations, Demand Colleges Enforce Free Speech

Two years ago Cornell University asked a California real-estate developer and longtime donor for a seven-figure contribution.

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