Free Speech Is More Threatened Than Ever and We Must Respond

Many readers probably have read about the New Wave of free speech suppression that has swept across campuses in the last several years. It comes on the heels of the previous era of speech codes that reigned from the late 1980s through the first decade of the 2000s. In 2005, I published the Independent Institute … Continue reading “Free Speech Is More Threatened Than Ever and We Must Respond”


NC Joins Growing List of States Seeking to Protect Campus Free Speech

Student intolerance and opposition to free speech have been gaining momentum. What began as isolated incidents at the University of Missouri and Yale University in fall 2015 quickly spread to other universities, leading to individuals being targeted for simply expressing their opinions. Recent rioting that prevented a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley, and … Continue reading “NC Joins Growing List of States Seeking to Protect Campus Free Speech”


Another Professor Shouted Down—This Time Over Pronouns

Universities in the United States do not have a monopoly on intolerant and disruptive students. Canada has them too, as shown by a recent incident at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The school had arranged for a panel discussion on the subject of free speech and political correctness in Canada. Four speakers were invited and … Continue reading “Another Professor Shouted Down—This Time Over Pronouns”


In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups

I pose a simple question: can free and civil discourse survive inclusion of those who would silence that discourse by any means possible—including violent intimidation? That seems to be a straightforward question deserving of a straight answer: no, civil discourse will not, except under special circumstances, survive when participants seek to undermine or destroy it. … Continue reading “In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups”


The Campus Free Speech Act: A Way to Restore the Marketplace of Ideas

Between the rise of safe spaces, trigger warnings, speaker disinvitations, and the often illiberal conduct of campus demonstrators over the past few years, it’s clear that the core constitutional value of free speech is now under siege at our colleges and universities. The fraying of commitment to freedom of speech on the part of college … Continue reading “The Campus Free Speech Act: A Way to Restore the Marketplace of Ideas”


Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field

The authoritarianism that increasingly characterizes the American professoriate is on full display in a case involving the master’s program in social work at Rhode Island College (RIC). A student who did not believe that lobbying the state legislature for “progressive” causes was properly a part of his education and suffered for it has filed suit … Continue reading “Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field”


Shouldn’t an Entire Campus Be a Free Speech Zone—Not Just .02 Percent of It?

(Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Forbes.com.) Hostility to free speech has become a salient characteristic of American college campuses. Speech codes that make it dangerous for students (or anyone else) to say things that might be regarded as offensive or “harassing” are all too common—even though the codes have been found to violate … Continue reading “Shouldn’t an Entire Campus Be a Free Speech Zone—Not Just .02 Percent of It?”


Will the Surge of Support for Free Speech on Campus Do Any Good?

Last month, PEN America, the U.S. branch of an international organization, published a strong defense of free speech on college campuses. The nearly century-old group stands for the idea that “People everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to … Continue reading “Will the Surge of Support for Free Speech on Campus Do Any Good?”


The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition

Last month, just before the new academic year began, the University of Chicago’s dean of students, John Ellison, sent a letter (reproduced in this piece) to all incoming students. It was meant to reaffirm the university’s commitment to free speech and inform the students that they shouldn’t expect the academic environment at Chicago to include … Continue reading “The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition”