Tracking Attacks on Scholars’ Speech

Colleen Flaherty
Inside Higher Ed

Excerpt: The number of scholars targeted for their speech has risen dramatically since 2015, and undergraduates increasingly are to blame, according to a database of these incidents released today by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Undergraduates aren’t the only ones seeking to censor graduate students, instructors, professors and other researchers, FIRE’s database and an accompanying report make clear. But undergraduates’ prevalence within FIRE’s new database concerns the pro-speech group nonetheless. Other would-be censors include politicians and the general public. But threats to scholars’ free speech increasingly originate from within the campus community, not limited to but especially students, according to the report. The database currently logs 426 incidents since 2015. Some 74 percent of incidents thus far resulted in some kind of sanction -- including an investigation alone or voluntary resignation -- against the scholar.