Brown Bagging Academic Freedom

By February 28, 2007

Make sure to check out the online Chronicle of Higher Education “brown bag” live discussion on Thursday, March 1, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, featuring FIRE President Greg Lukianoff and Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Samantha Harris. The Chronicle is billing the event, entitled “A Fiery Champion of Campus Free Speech,” as a frank discussion of the status of academic freedom in these turbulent times:

Academic freedom has never had an easy ride.  At a time when the country is deeply divided politically, universities are the tinderboxes of national outrage — and the utterances of professors and students make plenty of sparks. Even though most would agree that the height of P.C. culture passed years ago, speech codes are not dead. Loyalty oaths still pop up on campuses. Religious tolerance is uneven. Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, fields requests for help from students and professors across the country who believe their freedom of thought and expression has been pinched. And his organization responds aggressively, with a blizzard of legal threats, guidebooks on campus speech codes, and press releases hailing colleges that have backed down. He has discussed the nuanced issues of academic freedom in venues like Hannity and Colmes and The O’Reilly Factor, and now he will discuss them with us. He is joined by Samantha Harris, FIRE’s director of legal and public advocacy.

Questions for the live discussion are currently being accepted.  If you can’t make it to the live event, a transcript of the discussion will be available on the Chronicle of Higher Education website.