Harvard Profs Form Alliance to Defend Academic Freedom and Free Speech
“When activists are shouting into an administrator’s ear, we will speak calmly but vigorously into the other one, which will require them to take the reasoned rather than the easy way out”
We need more of this in schools across the country.
FOX News reports:
Over 100 Harvard professors and staff stand up for free speech with new council: ‘We are in a crisis time’
Over 100 Harvard professors have added their names to the school’s new Council on Academic Freedom in an attempt to defend free speech in one of America’s most famous schools.
“We are in a crisis time right now,” Janet Halley, a Harvard Law School professor and feminist legal theory scholar, told The New York Post.
“Many, many people are being threatened with — and actually put through — disciplinary processes for their exercise of free speech and academic freedom,” Halley said.
Halley is one of 103 members of the Council on Academic Freedom as of April 27.
The initiative has been led by professors Stephen Pinker and Bertha Madras, who announced the council in an op-ed for the Boston Globe. The organization, both professors wrote, was intended to “inform new faculty about Harvard’s commitments to free speech and the resources available to them when it is threatened,” the Harvard professors wrote.
The newly established Council on Academic Freedom plans to promote and uphold the principles of “free inquiry, intellectual diversity, and civil discourse” at the university, according to the two Harvard professors on the council.
Professors Pinker and Madras wrote that as members of the council, which was established in March, they plan to “sponsor workshops, lectures, and courses on the topic of academic freedom.”
Pinker and Madras also emphasized that they would defend other academics who are canceled by “activists” for speaking their minds on campus.
“We will encourage the adoption and enforcement of policies that protect academic freedom. When an individual is threatened or slandered for a scholarly opinion, which can be emotionally devastating, we will lend our personal and professional support.”
“When activists are shouting into an administrator’s ear, we will speak calmly but vigorously into the other one, which will require them to take the reasoned rather than the easy way out,” they continued.
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Better a few decades late than never.
But probably too late to matter… just like all the freedom-enhancing legislation that House Republicans are passing now, knowing that it’s all doomed in the Senate if not the veto pen — legislation they could easily have passed in the first two years of Trump when they owned “all three houses” (thank you, AOC), but somehow back then it was never “the right time.”