We have seen a recent swell of faculty members standing up for freedom of expression at numerous colleges and universities. At Middlebury College, more than 100 professors signed a “Statement of Principles” on free inquiry in response to the disruption of a campus event featuring Charles Murray. Alice Dreger and Laura Kipnis, both targets of campus censorship at Northwestern University, have spoken out about the need to uphold free speech and academic freedom. And then there are professors Cornel West and Robert George of Harvard University and Princeton University, respectively, who released a statement supporting the communication of viewpoints across ideological differences, which they have invited the public to sign.
FIRE is pleased to see this level of faculty engagement with pressing issues in higher education today, and we’d love to see more of it. That’s why we have created a free speech resources page just for faculty members, so that they can access and utilize our unique resources in order to lead the charge for meaningful campus reform.
Our new faculty page includes our “Correcting Common Mistakes in Campus Speech Policies” handbook (pictured), designed to help revise “red light” and “yellow light” speech codes; resources to guide the enactment of the “Chicago Statement” on free expression, which FIRE hopes to see adopted at many more institutions following its origins at the University of Chicago; information about inviting a FIRE speaker to campus; a list of institutions currently earning our highest, “green light” rating for campus speech codes, whose policies are good models for other colleges and universities to follow; and much more.
We hope our resources page will prove to be useful for the many faculty members out there who are concerned about the current state of free speech and academic freedom in higher education. As always, FIRE stands by to work with professors at any American college or university in order to protect these core rights and values. And be sure to check out the information regarding our first-ever faculty conference, taking place in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in early October. We are accepting proposals until April 14, so please consider submitting today!