Latest News and Commentary: Princeton

March 9, 2022
By Dalton Nunamaker
The College Fix

Excerpt: Regardless of how far America has come, it’s still trying to keep the black community down. That is the basic argument that was presented by the chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University during a recent guest talk at Georgetown University. Arguing that white supremacy has distorted democracy in America, Professor Eddie Glaude said the country must be refounded rather than just implement incremental reforming.

“At every turn, when America seems as if it’s on the precipice of being otherwise, it doubles down on its ugliness,” Glaude said at the event. “At every moment when a new America seems to be about to be born, the umbilical cord of white supremacy is wrapped around the baby’s neck, choking the life out of it.”

March 8, 2022
By Keith E. Whittington
The Volokh Conspiracy, Reason Magazine

Excerpt: The Academic Freedom Alliance released a public letter to San Diego State University calling on the university to reaffirm the academic freedom of philosophy professor J. Angelo Corlett. SDSU removed Corlett from the classroom after students complained that he had shown a slide with examples of racial epithets in his class on Philosophy, Racism and Justice and his class on critical thinking. His published scholarship has focused on issues of racism and hate speech, and he brought that expertise to bear in his classroom teaching.

March 8, 2022
By Keith E. Whittington
The Volokh Conspiracy, Reason Magazine

Excerpt: The Academic Freedom Alliance released a public letter to the University of Dayton calling on the university to reaffirm its own commitments to freedom of thought after an unfortunate administrative intervention into a scholarly conference organized by members of its faculty and held on the university campus.

March 2, 2022
By Academic Freedom Alliance
Press Release

Excerpt: The Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) sent a letter to the University of Dayton on its recent decision to disinvite Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng from participating as a keynote speaker in the Social Practice of Human Rights conference on October 28, 2021. The disinvitation was only recently publicly reported. The university administration concluded that Dr. Mofokeng could not speak on campus because her “work as an abortion provider” made her presence on campus a “sharp conflict with the University’s Catholic, Marianist mission and the right to life.”

March 1, 2022
By Matthew Wilson – Princeton University Sophomore
The College Fix

Excerpt: For most Americans, constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and expression are merely an afterthought — a birthright that’s often taken for granted.

But one Florida high school senior knows what it’s like to live under a regime where those rights are not a given. Sabrina Morera, a senior at Doral Performing Arts and Entertainment Academy in Miami-Dade County, recently won first place in a nationwide free speech essay contest sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Drawing on her personal background as a Cuban immigrant and the daughter of parents who came to the U.S. fleeing communist authoritarianism, Morera vigorously pushed back against those who propose allowing institutions of higher education to restrict students’ freedom of expression.

February 28, 2022
By Keith E. Whittington
Volokh Conspiracy, Reason Magazine

Excerpt: The Academic Freedom Alliance released a public letter to Concordia University Wisconsin calling on the university to reaffirm the academic freedom of philosophy professor Gregory Schulz.

Schulz is active speaker and writer for public audiences on issues associated with the Lutheran Church, with which Concordia University Wisconsin is affiliated. Earlier this month, he published an online article, "Woke Dysphoria at Concordia," critical of the rise of "wokeism" in American society, in the Lutheran Church, and at Concordia University Wisconsin and criticized in particular how the presidential search was conducted at the university. In apparent response to that public criticism of the university, Schulz was suspended and barred from entering the campus as the university contemplated the future of his employment there.

February 28, 2022
By Daybreak Podcast
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Toni Morrison’s novels have been the subject of book bans for decades. Today, we look at why her books are a target and how their censorship impacts the U.S. education system.

February 24, 2022
By Keith E. Whittington
The Volokh Conspiracy, Reason Magazine

Excerpt: A new episode of The Academic Freedom Podcast from the Academic Freedom Alliance is now available. Subscribe through your favorite platform so you don't miss an episode.

In this episode I talk with Matthew Finkin about Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's call for abolishing tenure at state universities. Last week Patrick declared that he would make it a top priority in the next legislative session to ban the teaching of "critical race theory" at Texas universities, to terminate any faculty member who does so, and to abolish tenure at public universities.

February 23, 2022
By Mohan Setty-Charity
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Over the last few months, debates on academic freedom have once again been thrust into the spotlight as some professors, most notably Amy Wax and Ilya Shapiro, have made incendiary comments that have gotten them into hot water. The necessity for academic freedom has been justified with the argument that faculty members need to be free to develop and discuss their ideas without fear of retribution. However, free speech always has limits; the question is where those limits are and where they ought to be.

These comments generally disrespect and insult communities of color, and arguments that routinely cite to a set of rules that were decided by white justices and powerful scholars of decades prior should not be above reevaluation.

February 22, 2022
By Keith E. Whittington
The Volokh Conspiracy, Reason Magazine

Excerpt: Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick held a press conference last Friday to respond to the Faculty Council of the University of Texas, which recently passed a resolution reemphasizing the importance of academic freedom at the university and denouncing political interventions in the university curriculum. Patrick declared that he would make it a top priority in the next legislative session to ban the teaching of "critical race theory" at Texas universities, to terminate any faculty member who does so, and to abolish tenure at public universities. This is a disturbing escalation of the Republican war on higher education.