Academic Freedom Alliance Guidance Statement on Compelled Speech

Keith E. Whittington
The Volokh Conspiracy, Reason Magazine

Excerpt: The Academic Freedom Alliance today issued its first guidance statement. These statements will address broader policy issues in American higher education that implicate academic freedom but that might not involve any particular incident at a specific university or relating to a specific individual professor.

This statement relates to the increasingly common demand by university officials that professors affirm their belief on some question of contested values or political sentiment. Of late, many of these incidents involve diversity statements or anti-racism statements, but these sorts of demands can range across the political and ideological spectrum and involve a wide range of specific issues. It is inappropriate for university officials to demand that professors engage in compelled speech, regardless of the topic or the popularity of the opinion to be expressed.