On Academic Freedom, Public Comments, and the “Fitness” of Faculty

Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a two-part series of articles. Part 2 can be found here.  Does academic freedom protect faculty members who promote such activities as genocide, pedophilia, the murder of random innocents for political purposes, and slavery? While it is of paramount importance to ensure that an open intellectual dialogue occurs … Continue reading “On Academic Freedom, Public Comments, and the “Fitness” of Faculty”


The UNC Alumni Free Speech Alliance: A Conversation with a Founding Member

Alumni have been making their voices heard over the past few months. After seeing the alarming direction that their alma maters are taking, alumni at institutions such as Davidson College, the University of Virginia, and Washington & Lee have decided to unite around the principles of free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity. These alumni … Continue reading “The UNC Alumni Free Speech Alliance: A Conversation with a Founding Member”


What Should We Teach in Journalism Schools? 

There’s something rotten in American journalism schools. From a tendency toward bias to outright activism, journalism in higher education is not what it should be: a place to guide young writers through a liberal education that teaches them how to think, report, and write clearly. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s attempted hiring … Continue reading “What Should We Teach in Journalism Schools? “


College Officials Should be Responsible When They Violate People’s Rights

Here is a recurring situation on American college and university campuses—an official acts in a way that violates the constitutional rights of students or faculty members, usually by trampling on the First Amendment. The aggrieved party then sues, naming the institution and the officials who approved the actions as defendants. Those lawsuits often succeed, with … Continue reading “College Officials Should be Responsible When They Violate People’s Rights”


College Athletes’ Payment Rights: A Question of When and How, Not If

College athletes’ rights, including their economic rights, have long been denied. American college sports have existed under an antiquated and oft-changing definition of amateurism that requires athletes to forfeit any pay for their efforts on the field or court. Despite the revenue explosions in the industry, and the wealth flowing into athletics departments, amateurism has … Continue reading “College Athletes’ Payment Rights: A Question of When and How, Not If”


Did You Know? The UK Wants Free Speech on Campus

In a new law that will change the direction of higher education in the United Kingdom, the British government is drafting the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, which might require universities to defend free speech and freedom of expression. The British political system lacks the First Amendment protections for free speech like the American … Continue reading “Did You Know? The UK Wants Free Speech on Campus”


This Case Gives the Supreme Court a Chance to Protect Campus Free Speech

Over the last 30 years, federal courts have consistently ruled that restrictive speech codes and minuscule free speech zones on college campuses violate the First Amendment. So, why do college administrators continue to create and enforce such policies? The answer is that they face no penalty for doing so. A case that arose back in … Continue reading “This Case Gives the Supreme Court a Chance to Protect Campus Free Speech”


What’s in a Syllabus? The Keys to Undoing Academic Freedom, If We’re Not Careful  

The syllabus is such a basic document that most of us tend not to think much about what goes into making one. What are its necessary ingredients? A listing of the required study and reading materials, obviously. Dates of important milestones, like term papers and exams, as well. Lecture schedules, weekly assignments, and a rubric … Continue reading “What’s in a Syllabus? The Keys to Undoing Academic Freedom, If We’re Not Careful  “


The Campaign to Stamp Out Academic Heresy

Back in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, church officials felt it necessary to scrutinize every book or pamphlet for the slightest hint of heresy. If the work deviated from doctrine, it would be banned, burned, and the author could be punished. The Enlightenment brought a change in attitude toward freedom of speech. In Britain, … Continue reading “The Campaign to Stamp Out Academic Heresy”


Censoring a Thousand Words: Universities Must Cease Punishing Students for Their Online Pictures

In 1980, Apple founder Steve Jobs called the computer “a bicycle for our minds.” Today, the advent of smartphones gives individuals the power to share images instantaneously with the rest of the world, often accompanied by an admonishment to college-bound students to “watch what you post online.” That is merited advice, as colleges and universities … Continue reading “Censoring a Thousand Words: Universities Must Cease Punishing Students for Their Online Pictures”