[June 2, 2022: Letter from Nadine Strossen, printed with permission]
I have just seen the statement you issued today, with the welcome announcement that Ilya Shapiro’s investigation and paid administrative leave have concluded and confirming that Ilya “was not properly subject to discipline” for his controversial tweets.
I firmly share the dual commitments you reaffirm — “to preserving and protecting the right of free and open inquiry, deliberation, and debate” and “to foster a campus community that is free from bias, and in which every member is treated with respect and courtesy.”
I also am convinced, based on the historical and ongoing record in the U.S. and globally, that these values are mutually reinforcing. The “inclusive freedom” ideal — to quote the apt term coined by University of Pennsylvania Professor Sigal Ben Porath — means that we must strive to empower all members of the campus community to meaningful exercise their free speech rights, no matter who they are, and no matter what they believe. Your action and statement in this matter admirably promote that ideal.
I’m sure you will receive much pushback from critics across the spectrum, so I wanted promptly to thank and commend you for your decision and your statement. And I’d like to extend all best wishes for the ongoing debates and discussions!
- “FINALLY: Georgetown reinstates Ilya Shapiro following unwarranted 122-day investigation into protected political speech,” FIRE (June 2)
- Robby Soave, “Georgetown Ends Investigation of Ilya Shapiro for Bad Tweet, Will Not Fire Him,” Reason (June 2)