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Harvard Students, Faculty, and Alums Demand Next President ‘Must Champion Free Speech’

Harvard Students, Faculty, and Alums Demand Next President ‘Must Champion Free Speech’

“There can be no real liberal education without free speech”

Harvard is seen as a leading organization in higher education. They should be taking a stand on this and a host of other issues.

The College Fix reports:

Next Harvard president must stand up for free speech, says student, faculty and alumni petition

The next Harvard University president must champion free speech for the sake of the university’s integrity and reputation, according to a new petition signed by students, faculty and alumni.

There is a culture at Harvard “that is not conducive to free exchange of ideas,” petition co-organizer and university undergraduate Victoria Li told The College Fix by phone on December 4.

“Many classes are framed in specific language that discourages open inquiry, which sometimes makes debatable ideas seem undebatable,” she said.

Harvard’s Presidential Search Committee must select a candidate who “affirms the importance of free speech for Harvard’s campus climate, academic rigor, and international prestige,” argues the petition, which The Fix reviewed.

More than 200 students, 31 alumni and 11 faculty members have signed it so far.

Harvey Silverglate, Harvard Board of Overseers candidate, university alumnus and co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, called the free speech climate at Harvard “poor.”

“There can be no real liberal education without free speech,” so “you can’t say that liberal education is alive [at the university],” he wrote in an email to The College Fix.

Harvard professor of government and political philosopher Harvey Mansfield agreed.

“Harvard offends against free speech with a woke administration that suffocates opposition, a faculty that refuses to hire conservative professors, and with a student body that silences diverse opinions,” Mansfield, who signed the petition, told The Fix in an email.

“Harvard is so far gone that it hates itself for a false ‘legacy of slavery.’ It needs to search and revive its soul, now barely alive,” Mansfield said.


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So the next Harvard President must not be a Democrat? There seems to be some disconnect here between the stated goal and who they’d actually elect.

Silverglate is applying pressure. That are a number of MIT alums who are now making contributions only through his new “MIT Free Speech Alliance” organization, which releases them to the Institute only when it has met and maintained FIRE’s standards for honoring free speech and debate.

    DSHornet in reply to henrybowman. | December 9, 2022 at 10:44 am

    As the balance of that MIT FSA account grows it will become harder to ignore. It’ll be interesting to see how this looks in a few years.

Can anybody help me to understand what Harvard has contributed to Boston or Massachusetts or America or the world? say, in the past 10-20 years?

Has Harvard headed up a research group to address a single problem :

1. Addiction treatment ineffectiveness?
2. Educational underachievement?
3. Homelessness?
4. Treatment of mental illness?

Harvard, supposedly, has billions of dollars at their disposal; Harvard , supposedly, admits only the best and brightest high school students; Harvard, supposedly, has faculty made up of the best and the brightest minds

And yet:

look at murder rates,

Look at criminal recidivism,

Look at homelessness,

Look at the outcomes of psychiatric/psychological interventions and treatment

Look at chronic educational underachievement in the Boston or any other schools

Ultimately, it seems to me that if you’re being honest, you have to wonder whether the emperor is not in factoring even a single article of clothing.

What. Has. Harvard. Done. To. Fix. Any. Of. America’s. Problems.

With all their money and with all their high-minded intellectual gifts … what have they contributed?

Is there a single community or jurisdiction anywhere in the world that woke up this morning and said, “Ih my gourd, we must ask Harvard how they were so successful at solving all these problems.”

– – – – –

Think, people. Think.

Start by denying tenure to intolerant whack jobs. Work from there.