Surprise! Disinvitation Incidents are Up on College Campuses

June 2, 2014

By Avi Snyder at National Review Online

A new report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) confirms what anyone following the news has known for a long time now: protests against controversial speakers coming to college campuses have become more frequent and more successful over the past several years.

“Disinvitation Report 2014: A Disturbing 15-Year Trend” examines “disinvitation efforts at public and private American institutions from the year 2000 to the present.” Data was collected from a number of sources, including news accounts and case submissions to FIRE and other organizations.

Over at ACTA’s blog, the Forum, we discuss some of the report’s findings. Of particular note is the correlation FIRE found between the restrictiveness of an institution’s free speech policies and the frequency of disinvitation incidents. College is often a time of immersive education, and it turns out students really do absorb the values around them. If the academy itself demonstrates that free speech is subservient to political correctness, then students will get the message. That’s why, in Free to Teach, Free to Learn, ACTA calls upon trustees to establish comprehensive policies to foster academic freedom and intellectual diversity.

Cases: Nationwide: Colleges Across the Country Disinvite Commencement Speakers