OPINION: Five Ways University Presidents Can Prove Their Commitment to Free Speech

by Greg Lukianoff

Threats to free speech and academic freedom on campus constantly change: One year, it’s speech codes and federal government overreach that present the greatest danger. The next, it could be speaker disinvitations and heckler’s vetoes. 

With the targets constantly shifting, what are some effective steps college presidents can take right now to fight censorship, regardless of where it originates? Presidents like to say they are in favor of free speech, but few have presented a plan of action that would improve the state of free speech for their students and faculty members. 

The following five suggestions provide a path for presidents to prove their commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom by leading with basic, clear, and reasonable changes:

Lukianoff is an attorney, and president and CEO of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.  He is the co-author with Jonathan Haidt of The Coddling of the American Mind:  How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.

Read more at FIRE or watch the accompanying video. 


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