Letter from Harvard Business School Dean Kim B. Clark to FIRE, January 2, 2003

January 2, 2003
2 January, 2003
Alan Charles Kors

Harvey A. Silverglate

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

210 West Washington Square, Suite 303

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Dear Messrs. Kors and Silverglate,

Your recent letter touches on fundamental principles that comprise the very essence of a vibrant academic environment such as Harvard Business School. Let me assure you that I believe strongly in freedom of speech and in the independence of the Harbus, which has played a central role on our campus since it was established 65 years ago.

Since mid-November, I have sought a wide range of opportunities — including lunches and an open forum with students, meetings with faculty and staff, and discussions with alumni — to publicly reaffirm my commitment to free speech and the independence of the Harbus. Moreover, I have expressed my own regret that recent events may have caused anyone to doubt the depth of our commitment. I will continue to affirm this message at every appropriate moment.

The clash of ideas, ideals, and values is an integral part of an academic environment, where people from extraordinarily diverse backgrounds come together to test new concepts and stretch the boundaries of knowledge. I am confident we have learned from our recent experience, strengthened our commitment to free discourse, and underscored its importance in preserving the vitality of our community.

Best regards,

Kim B. Clark

Schools:  Harvard University

Cases:  Harvard University: Threat to Discipline Student Newspaper Staff for Publishing Satirical Cartoon