A New Script for Shoutdowns

Peter Wood

An NAS member's observations on a heckle-down at UCLA.

NAS Statement on Free Speech Resolution at Lewis & Clark Law School


After invited speaker Christina Hoff Sommers was shouted down, some faculty at Lewis & Clark Law School want to protect intellectual freedom.

Chilling Sommers: Another Blow to Discourse

Emina Melonic

At American Greatness, Emina Melonic asks what can be done about the increasingly frequent suppression of speech by indoctrinated college students.

Anti-Israel Protesters Disrupt Event at UVA

Peter Wood

A panel featuring Israeli military reservists was shouted down last Thursday night at the University of Virginia.

Protecting Academic Freedom Through All the Campus Smoke

Peter Wood

Protecting freedom of speech means shielding it from the left and the right. 

You Are Cordially Disinvited

Peter Wood

Jason Riley is the most recent conservative speaker to recieve a disinvitation. 

A Fine and Private Hate

Peter Wood

NAS President Peter Wood writes on BDS supporter Professor Jasbir Puar's attempt to use the principle of academic freedom to keep herself from being held accountable to public judgment for her Jew-hating libels.

The Censorship Epidemic

Chance Layton

The Guilted Age

Thomas Dineen

Thomas Dineen tells how Debby Irving educated him on his whiteness.

The Remarkable Class of 2015 Must Save the Planet

Rachelle Peterson

From Bill Nye to Barack Obama, commencement speakers across the country encouraged the class of 2015 to "change the world" by changing the planet. 

Letter to Miami University President: Praise for Inviting George Will

Peter Wood

NAS president Peter Wood wrote a letter to Dr. David C. Hodge, president of Miami University, commending him for his decision to invite George Will to speak on campus. 

Letter to Scripps College President: Re-Invite George Will

Peter Wood

NAS president Peter Wood urges Scripps College president Lori Bettison-Varga to re-invite George Will to speak on campus.

Letter to Scripps Trustees: Re-Invite George Will

Peter Wood

NAS president Peter Wood urges Scripps College trustees to re-invite George Will to speak on campus.

Campus Activism: The Fight for Imaginary Victories

Peter Wood

Campus activists fight against an imaginary villain of social injustice.

Pomp and Divorce

Joshua Bridges

During commencement season, the radical left burns its bridges with mainstream liberals.

Let Them Speak! Why It’s Important to Let Speakers Speak

Joshua Bridges

At many universities, students have shot down speakers who announce differing opinions. By doing so, they undermine their own intellectual development.

What goes beyond the academic pale?

George Leef

What are the limits for academic departments when inviting speakers to campus?

Ahmadine-jabbing American Students

Peter Wood

Central Connecticut State University took its students to New York to dine with the dictator.

UNC Hosts Stage Adaptation of Common Book Assignment 'Eating Animals'

Ashley Thorne

This fall the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted several events related to its common reading assignment, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. 

Totems in America

Peter Wood

Peter Wood defends the CUNY trustee who opposed an honorary degree for playwright Tony Kushner.

Duke's President Versus the University's Reputation

George Leef

President Richard Brodhead pleaded with students not to give Duke the reputation as a sex-crazed campus. Perhaps it would do more if the university stopped bringing in a parade of salacious shows and speakers.

A Commencement Address Worth Hearing

Glenn Ricketts

If you're like me, you probably find the run of commencement addresses tedious, politically tendentious and aesthetically bereft. Well, I've finally found one that's worth listening to. It was given last spring at Harvard, and I really hope that it inspires imitation. The speaker has a fine sense of phrase and diction, and her remarks evince both wisdom and common sense. Would that others were so straightforward and clear. Do let me know what you think.

Judge Downes Decides Rightly

Steve Balch

We commend Judge Downes' decision to uphold freedom of speech by ordering the University of Wyoming to allow William Ayers to speak on campus.

Ward Connerly at the University of Arizona

Daniel Asia

Ward Connerly spoke at the University of Arizona just a few weeks ago. He was masterly. At five minutes before his talk was to begin there were only five people in the audience. At the start there were between seventy-five and one hundred. It was clear that a huge majority thought they stood in opposition to his views. There were those with placards, who thankfully remained entirely civil throughout. Ward spoke calmly and cooly stating his primary thesis over and over from every angle: Discrimination hardly exists in this country presently. If you work hard you can achieve. Aid should be provided to low income folks no matter what race creed, religion, etc. He deflected or absorbed hostility, never projecting it back at his questioner. A lot of people were thinking hard as they left. Isn't this just what should happen on a university campus, but happens so infrequently?!

Arizona Scholars Host Ward Connerly; "Alianza" Prepares Protest

Daniel Asia

So,  for the first event of the Arizona Association of Scholars, Ward Connerly will be our guest.  Being a strong believer in open dialogue I forwarded a press release to many student organizations on campus. Here is one response:

To: Daniel, Arturo, Andrea, Lorenzo, Socorro, and David I didn't want to explain all of this to the greater email list, but I'm just sending this to a few leaders on campus: Ward Connerly (for those who may not be familiar) was a key opponent of Affirmative Action when the University of Michigan defended its admissions process to the Supreme Court in the late 1990s.  As chair of Alianza (Latino student organization) at the University of Michigan during the Affirmative  Action cases, I can attest that, frankly, his advocacy can do more potential damage for student of color resources on campus than the cultural center restructuring plans.  So, I urge you to research Connerly's track record, attend the talk, and let your voices be heard. If you think it would help, I'd be glad to address your organizations, just let me know. Thanks, Maurice

Jeepers, so much for free inquiry and open dialogue, which now seems to be a dangerous commodity.

Not a Minute to Spare for the Minuteman

Ashley Thorne

Jim Gilchrist, president of the Minuteman Project, an anti-illegal immigration organization, has been dis-invited from speaking at Harvard in an immigration symposium. The decision not to have him speak, announced with only five days notice after five months of planning for his appearance on campus, was made in reaction to radical students' threats of disruptive protest. Here is the Minutman press release on the rescinded invitation. The same Jim Gilchrist was hustled off the stage in the middle of his 2006 speech at Columbia University, as protesters stormed the platform. Well, Harvard, so much for freedom of speech and the pursuit of veritas.

Outbreak of Civilized Debate at UNC!

George Leef

In this week's Clarion Call, my Pope Center colleague Jay Schalin writes about an unexpected development -- an outbreak of civilized debate at the University of North Carolina. Last spring, freedom of speech seemed to be on life-support as leftist demonstrators interrupted and harassed speakers they didn't like and didn't think anyone should hear. This fall, however, things have been completely different. The campus has enjoyed a cornucopia of talks and debates featuring speakers from all over the political and philosophical spectrum. This new openness is a big step in the right direction for UNC.

Deacon Garb at UNC

Ashley Thorne

Wild West killer-for-hire "Deacon" Jim Miller dressed the part of a church-going citizen.  Why does UNC Chapel Hill lecture series  on "Renewing the Western Tradition" come to mind? Peter Wood writes at NAS.org:

As Jane Shaw explains, the speakers that the committee did choose seem to interpret “renewing Western civilization” as mainly a matter of debunking, de-centering, and otherwise expressing irritation with Western civilization.  The subtext seems to be: Renew it?  Why would anyone bother?  Let’s just get on with replacing it.  For this UNC spends $15,000 per lecture, from money given by a donor who explicitly sought a positive approach to the study of Western civilization.

For the full story, check out Jane Shaw's report at the Clarion Call, "The Culture Chasm at UNC."

Follow the Money: How Radical Speakers Get Rich on Campus Lecture Tours

Jonathan Bean

Jay Schalin has an excellent piece examining one of the dirty secrets of higher education: the generous funding of left-wing speakers and the exclusion of other viewpoints. See his essay "Radical Rhetoric on Somebody Else's Dime."

As a faculty adviser to College Republicans, we have asked--and been denied--student-fee funding repeatedly. One year, we raised $7,000 in private funds to bring Ward Connerly to our law school. We needed another $1,500. Guidelines encourage students to raise some money on their own rather than simply milking the cash cow of student fees. Surely, $7,000 more than matches $1,500?

Answer from student government: a) we don't think graduate or professional students would be interested in your speaker; b) yes, you raised private funds (through donations) but normally we prefer bake-sale type events (although I am sure they did not have "affirmative action bake sale" events in mind!). After much buttonholing on my part, we got our $1,500, Connerly arrived to a packed house and it was one of the best events in many years.

Meanwhile, the College Democrats went to student government and asked for $22,000 to bring James Carville to campus. Answer: "No problem, here you go!" THEY promised to raise another $1,500 by charging nonstudents a $3 admission fee. No doubt the group made money on the event.

Again and again, speakers far to the Left come to campus; student fees give them $10,000 to $100,000. Look up speaker bureaus online and you will see that the more militant the speaker, the more money they make. At his peak, Ward Churchill raked in $20K per rant.

Why is this important? Because it is illegal under the Southworth decision of 2000. The Supreme Court ruled:

"When a university requires its students to pay fees to support the extracurricular speech of other students, all in the interest of open discussion, it may not prefer some viewpoints to others."

Follow the money, document the money, and bring a case against unequal funding of speakers. Otherwise, the law is nothing more than words--and those who control the money know they can present one-sided viewpoints.

St. Louis U, Horowitz, and Billiken

Ashley Thorne

At NAS.org, we noted that St. Louis University recently disinvited David Horowitz from a speaking engagement on campus. We also noted that the AAUP—not usually on the same side of issues as Horowitz—has defended Horowitz's right to speak, as has the left-leaning College Freedom blogger John K. Wilson. What you might not have already heard is that St. Louis U's mascot, the Billiken, seems to have played a role in censoring David Horowitz. To read the whole story - and find out what in the world a Billiken is - click here.

Horowitz vs. Islamo-Billikenism

Peter Wood

Perhaps St. Louis University's pointy-eared mascot was behind SLU's recent decision to disinvite David Horowitz from speaking on campus.

Thursday The Complet

Peter Wood

Tea Parties, maintaining a belief system, UNC apologizes, grade inflation, coming soon, and Atkinson's war

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

Ashley Thorne

The college-driven trend to divulge says something about higher education's vision of itself as therapeutic.

NAS Wall of Secrets

Peter Wood

Tell us your secrets!

If I Ran the Zoo XIV

Erin O'Connor

Erin O'Connor and Maurice Black point us to Dr. Seuss's commencement address that urged, "swallow what's solid," but "spit out the air!"