University of Chicago Leads the Way for Academic Freedom

October 1, 2015

By Aleister at College Insurrection

Greg Lukianoff of The FIRE recently wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post which is worth a read. It focuses on academic freedom at the University of Chicago.

Every University in the Country Should Adopt the University of Chicago’s Academic Freedom Statement

Though far from over, 2015 may be remembered as a year when free speech and academic freedom on campus took center stage. From the months-long Title IX “inquisition” waged against Northwestern professor Laura Kipnis, to students in Utah and Texas being confined to tiny “free speech zones,” to the University of California’s Orwellian “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance,” to the rise of campus trends like the policing of micro-aggressions and trigger warnings, students, professors, alumni, and even our president are wondering aloud if our campuses have lost their way.

Therefore, I am pleased to announce that today, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has officially launched a national campaign asking colleges and universities to adopt the free expression statement authored by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago earlier this year. FIRE endorsed the statement back in January and has written hundreds of faculty members, students, and student journalists at institutions nationwide encouraging them to do the same. Since then, USA Today, The New York Daily News, and others have endorsed the statement, while earlier this summer, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni sent a letter to more than 19,000 college and university trustees, urging college governing boards to endorse similar statements.

FIRE writes in our press release about our new campaign:

Momentum behind the statement’s widespread adoption is growing. Princeton University and Purdue University adopted the core values of the statement into their own policies earlier this year. Earlier this month, Johns Hopkins University announced a new academic freedom policy embracing the spirit of the Chicago statement, and faculty at American University endorsed a similar set of principles in a faculty senate resolution. Last Thursday, the general faculty of Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina endorsed the Chicago principles, bringing the statement to its first historically black college or university.

Schools: University of Chicago Cases: FIRE Launches Campaign in Support of University of Chicago Free Speech Statement