Commentary: Colleges that betray core principles don’t deserve more public aid

Frederick Hess

Excerpt: If your local library was sponsoring book burnings, you’d have some issues that would need to be addressed before you got around to boosting the budget. If your local sanitation workers were dumping trash into your driveway instead of picking it up, discussions of new funding would have to wait. Yet, even as college campuses across the land evince a growing hostility to free thought, the Biden administration and a Democratic Congress are racing to shovel untold billions of new dollars into higher education—without even pausing to acknowledge the problem.

And the problem is profound. If higher education has a Hippocratic Oath, a counterpart to medicine’s “Do no harm,” it’s “Don’t stifle the exchange of ideas.” After all, that’s what colleges and universities are for—to be places where knowledge is acquired, shared, and stored. The fundamental purpose of higher education is compromised if campus leaders cease to embrace that mission.