More Defenders of Campus Speech

The Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal

Excerpt: It’s not a sign of health in American higher education that organizations devoted to defending academic freedom are proliferating. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has expanded rapidly in recent years as threats to campus liberties multiply. In 2015 Heterodox Academy emerged to promote viewpoint diversity in the progressive-dominated social sciences. This week comes the Academic Freedom Alliance, a cross-ideological group of scholars who aim to defend faculty members’ rights to engage in unpopular speech and advocacy. The group, announced Monday, says on its website that “our members will defend faculty members’ freedom of thought and expression in their work as researchers and writers or in their lives as citizens.” The group is also advised by litigators such as liberal First Amendment expert Floyd Abrams and the prominent conservative appellate lawyer Paul Clement. “The AFA will aid in providing legal support to faculty whose academic freedom is threatened by institutions’ or officials’ violations of constitutional, statutory, contractual, or school-based rights,” its website says.