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Friday, March 21, 2014

Whackademia Quote: Academia Versus Free Speech

     Perhaps nowhere are First Amendment values more imperiled than at the modern American college campus--the very place where free speech should be the most clearly cherished and vigorously upheld. So argues Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate which was released in paperback [in March 2014]….

     "It's becoming quite easy to get in trouble for just questioning the administration, depending upon who your university president or administrators are," [Lukainoff said in a Daily Caller interview].

     Many people have the wrong impression about the state of discourse in academia, falsely believing that Supreme Court decisions settled the matter decades ago. While it is true that courts have consistently upheld college students' First Amendment rights, the rulings have not stopped enthusiastic censors at both private and public universities from criminalizing free speech.

     Sadly, society isn't paying enough attention. When Lukianoff tells people of the plight of the modern college campus, he often hears the opinion that the censorship is acceptable because it's well-intentioned--an idea that "just scares me to death," he said. According to Lukianoff, "A previous generation, if you told them you were going to get in trouble for your opinion on college campuses, the generation of the 60s and 70s, it was completely outrageous to them. You didn't have to explain why it was a big deal. Now when I go to campuses I hear a lot more from students saying, 'Well it's well-intentioned. It's not that big a deal.'"…

     College and university administrative bloat is partly to blame….The ranks of the bureaucratic class has grown exponentially at universities [and in society at large]. A report by the American Institute for Research found that on most college campuses the majority of workers are people who do not teach students. What are all these low and mid-level administrators doing instead? Many of them are censoring students….

Robby Soave, "'Unlearning Liberty' Author Interview: How College Administrators Murdered Free Speech," The Daily Caller, March 14, 2014 

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