FIRE Video Interview

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), www.thefire.org ,  of which I am a co-founder and current Board of Directors chair, has produced a short (12 minutes long) video on my work in civil liberties in higher education. You may agree, or disagree, with my pessimistic assessment of the current state of the culture on our campuses, and with my optimistic assessment of our chances of restoring fairness, academic freedom, and rationality to these campuses. But in any event I think you’ll find this of interest...

 

You can find the video here: http://thefire.org/article/16547.html .

 

I hope you enjoy this piece and I encourage you to follow the important work FIRE is doing.
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The Feds Mandate Abolition of Free Speech on Campus

Want to openly discuss gender discrepancies in the workplace? Want to listen to uncensored rap music? How about put on a comedy show? Not on our campuses! And what if you or a friend or family member has to pursue a defense to an unmeritorious charge of sexual harassment? Forget it!

On May 9th, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education jointly issued a letter to the University of Montana, which the government called “a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country,” and which mandates changes to campus sexual harassment policies that will effectively make each of the above actions punishable offenses and will turn hearings into even worse kangaroo courts than exist today. This is a very serious development that everyone who thinks our universities play an important function in society will want to know about.

In my latest column for Minding the Campus, co-authored with my research assistant Juliana DeVries, we argue that the federal government’s unconstitutional mandate will obliterate free speech and fair process on campuses and make every student guilty of “harassment” several times a day. You can read the column on the Minding the Campus website.  

An excerpt after the jump...

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"Harvard Email Snooping: Overreaching Administrators at Work"

As those of you who read my various writing know, our nation’s campuses are far from hubs of free inquiry. Today’s campus culture more accurately resembles a corporation, or, viewed a bit more cynically, a mini-police state. In my most recent piece for Minding the Campus, co-authored with my research assistants, Juliana DeVries and Zachary Bloom, we explain how the Harvard email search scandal is only the latest demonstration of administrators and lawyers’ power over faculty and staff. This latest invasion of academic prerogatives by the overlords should be a wake-up call to spur a rebellion against the unholy trends destroying liberal arts institutions all over the country.

 

You can read the piece at the following link:

http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2013/03/the_harvard_email_snooping_cas.html
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Campus Censorship Breeds Societal Dysfunction

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (or FIRE, whose board of directors I chair), has written a remarkable and groundbreaking new book: Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. In it, he posits that pervasive censorship and disregard for due process on our nation’s campuses have disrupted the gears and self-correcting mechanisms essential for the functioning of our free society. In my latest Forbes.com column, I explain how the mindless totalitarianism that befouls the vast majority of our college campuses helps explain some of the injustices of our legal system. The degradation of important social and legal institutions begins somewhere, and I agree with Lukianoff that a lot of our problems start with what is happening in our sadly degenerated system of higher education.

You can find the piece on my Forbes.com Injustice Department blog.
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Unlearning Liberty Now Available on Amazon

The Draconian restrictions on freedom of speech and thought throughout American higher education are an extraordinarily dangerous but under-appreciated development. This is what motivated me to co-author the book The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses in 1998 and to co-found the Foundation for Individual Rights (FIRE) in 1999, whose board of directors I chair. FIRE President Greg Lukianoff has now taken on the urgently important task of updating the dismal (although in some ways oddly entertaining, if not hilarious) picture in his new book Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, now available on Amazon.

In Unlearning Liberty, Lukianoff takes readers through the life of a modern-day college student, from orientation to the end of freshman year. He describes various examples from the past 15 years of horrendous (and yet typical) violations of university students’ free speech rights: a student in Indiana punished for reading a book, a student in Georgia expelled for a pro-environment collage he posted on Facebook, students at Yale banned from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on a T shirt, and students across the country corralled into tiny “free speech zones.” Lukianoff further demonstrates how our universities’ cultures of censorship are bleeding into the larger society and stunting our ability as a nation to engage in rational discussion.

I highly recommend Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate to all those concerned with the future of liberty and open debate in America.   


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The latest news from 
The Foundation 
for Individual Rights in Education
a nonprofit organization
whose mission is to oppose censorship 
and maintain freedom 
at American colleges and universities,
created in 1999 
by Harvey and Alan C. Kors

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