The terrorist attacks on Israel and the subsequent war have prompted national conversations on a whole host of issues, including the response to this unfolding crisis on college campuses across America.
As difficult and fraught as the fallout has been, those conversations represent an opportunity. Higher education’s breakdown has been thrust into the national spotlight, making now the time to push for real reform.
In yesterday’s National Review, FIRE’s President and CEO Greg Lukianoff discusses what that opportunity means and what university donors should be demanding in exchange for their support. In the piece, Greg encourages donors to seize this moment to transform America’s campuses for the better and provides a list of reforms donors should demand from the schools receiving their patronage. He explains:
Right now, donors to universities have a chance to reform campuses into the oases of free speech and academic freedom they always should have been. Rather than demand that students be expelled or professors fired for speech they disagree with, they can insist on free speech and academic freedom. Instead of pressuring universities to adopt specific perspectives, they can demand institutional neutrality. And in lieu of groupthink, fear, conformity, and cancel culture, they can promote the habits of a free mind, open inquiry, good faith debate, and diversity of opinion.
That refrain is one that FIRE has been sounding for years. And our programs are poised to leverage this opportunity with renewed campaigns and outreach focused on alumni-led reform, policy revisions, student education and empowerment, and true diversity — including viewpoint diversity.
In the coming weeks, you will see much more from us in that space, so stay tuned.
Let’s work together to harness this momentum in the hope that in this difficult time, our nation’s campuses make real commitments (not just politically convenient ones) to the values they were always intended to uphold.