Saint Vincent College: Administration Seizes Control Over Speaker Invitations

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Saint Vincent College

On April 19, 2022, Saint Vincent College announced a new policy requiring the college president and his cabinet to approve all college-sponsored speaker appearances following controversy over a guest speaker at a faculty-run conference. FIRE wrote the college on April 22 explaining this sweeping prior review violates the college’s explicit guarantees of academic freedom and expressive rights to faculty and students. Saint Vincent did not respond to FIRE’s letter. On June 2, FIRE sent a complaint to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the college’s accreditor, alerting it that Saint Vincent is not in compliance with the Commission’s requirement that accredited institutions “possess[] and demonstrate[] . . . a commitment to academic freedom, intellectual freedom, [and] freedom of expression.”