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Thread: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

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    Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    Free speech is no longer a high priority value among some professors. It's a long way from Berkeley in 1964.


    Week in review – back to school edition

    Posted on September 3, 2016 | 11 comments
    by Judith Curry
    Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. – Daniel Jacobsen
    Continue reading

    Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. – Daniel Jacobsen

    As the 2016/2017 academic year begins, universities are roiled by freedom of speech issues, pitting students, faculty members and administrators against each other. Different universities are handling this in different ways.
    I’ve been collecting articles and meaning to write a substantive post on this, but my schedule is beyond crazy. So I decided to do a week in review type post on this issue, pointing to some of the more interesting links I’ve collected. My ‘collection’ of links was self-sabotaged when I copied them to the post (the links weren’t preserved). Oh well, maybe you can help me with links.
    A short but cogent overview article to kick this off – Higher education: beyond parody [link]
    CATO: Freedom of speech under assault on campus [link] . . .

    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    As you know, I am largely against the "Safe Space" or "Trigger Warning" higher education movement (if there is a better term for this post-Great Recession phenomenon, I might need to adopt it). I think that the university is the place for debate and intellectual exposure, but one in which the faculty and administration should exercise some measure of control over the excesses of social movement politics that occasionally try to force themselves on campus operations.

    The problem I have with your interpretation of mid-60's Berkeley being the paragon of free speech is that the Free Speech Movement mostly preached the success of the intellectual predecessor for our current dilemma. It was a respectable argument to suggest that having inconvenient "free speech zones," was a needless restriction. Further, the viability of the loyalty oath also deserved to be critiqued (though, I admit, I found the arguments about Communist Party-doctrinaire impeding intellectual debate and honesty--discussed most notably by Sidney Hook, William Buckley, and others to be compelling). It was also understandable that a number of students, including a number of Berkeley's graduate students, felt that the instructional faculty were too distracted by their own research to mentor young minds. While students of Berkeley argued they were strengthening student speech accessibility in the campus, in all actuality they were attempting to quash respectable decorum in campus speaking events, dilution of intellectual rigor in program curriculum, and attempted to prevent staff from fulfilling the responsibilities of the university by bringing it all to a halt. Mere months later they extended this concept to attempting to prevent faculty from exercising their own academic freedom because it did not jive with their anti-Vietnam war/anti-military research agenda. At first they had legitimate concerns, but it got out of hand quickly and resorted to being little more than an excuse to pillory and restrict several respectable political ideologies in order to raise their own to the forefront.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 09-03-16 at 05:59 PM.
    A message to both the Left and the Right. Ari Ne'eman-"People with disabilities deserve better than to be used as props in the country’s ongoing — and so far stalemated — arguments over gun control." https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/201...-obama-liberty

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    safe zones etc or anything else you want to call it are all unconstitutional. which have been ruled by courts time and time again.
    students have sued constantly over this issue and have won in every case.

    what these colleges are trying to do is group thought and thought police activities.

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    As you know, I am largely against the "Safe Space" or "Trigger Warning" higher education movement (if there is a better term for this post-Great Recession phenomenon, I might need to adopt it). I think that the university is the place for debate and intellectual exposure, but one in which the faculty and administration should exercise some measure of control over the excesses of social movement politics that occasionally try to force themselves on campus operations.

    The problem I have with your interpretation of mid-60's Berkeley being the paragon of free speech is that the Free Speech Movement mostly preached the success of the intellectual predecessor for our current dilemma. It was a respectable argument to suggest that having inconvenient "free speech zones," was a needless restriction. Further, the viability of the loyalty oath also deserved to be critiqued (though, I admit, I found the arguments about Communist Party-doctrinaire impeding intellectual debate and honesty--discussed most notably by Sidney Hook, William Buckley, and others to be compelling). It was also understandable that a number of students, including a number of Berkeley's graduate students, felt that the instructional faculty were too distracted by their own research to mentor young minds. While students of Berkeley argued they were strengthening student speech accessibility in the campus, in all actuality they were attempting to quash respectable decorum in campus speaking events, dilution of intellectual rigor in program curriculum, and attempted to prevent staff from fulfilling the responsibilities of the university by bringing it all to a halt. Mere months later they extended this concept to attempting to prevent faculty from exercising their own academic freedom because it did not jive with their anti-Vietnam war/anti-military research agenda. At first they had legitimate concerns, but it got out of hand quickly and resorted to being little more than an excuse to pillory and restrict several respectable political ideologies in order to raise their own to the forefront.
    Fair enough.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    Free speech is no longer a high priority value among some professors. It's a long way from Berkeley in 1964.


    Week in review – back to school edition

    Posted on September 3, 2016 | 11 comments
    by Judith Curry
    Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. – Daniel Jacobsen
    Continue reading

    Many academics now consider freedom of speech just another American eccentricity, like guns and religion. – Daniel Jacobsen

    As the 2016/2017 academic year begins, universities are roiled by freedom of speech issues, pitting students, faculty members and administrators against each other. Different universities are handling this in different ways.
    I’ve been collecting articles and meaning to write a substantive post on this, but my schedule is beyond crazy. So I decided to do a week in review type post on this issue, pointing to some of the more interesting links I’ve collected. My ‘collection’ of links was self-sabotaged when I copied them to the post (the links weren’t preserved). Oh well, maybe you can help me with links.
    A short but cogent overview article to kick this off – Higher education: beyond parody [link]
    CATO: Freedom of speech under assault on campus [link] . . .

    Actually, Berkley 1964 probably wouldn't be the bets example seeing how a good chunk of the activist movement thought Soviets were some kind of bastion of human progress.....

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerace117 View Post
    Actually, Berkley 1964 probably wouldn't be the bets example seeing how a good chunk of the activist movement thought Soviets were some kind of bastion of human progress.....
    Fair enough. It was a campus protest called the Free Speech Movement. That was the rhetorical contrast I wanted.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    As you know, I am largely against the "Safe Space" or "Trigger Warning" higher education movement (if there is a better term for this post-Great Recession phenomenon, I might need to adopt it). I think that the university is the place for debate and intellectual exposure, but one in which the faculty and administration should exercise some measure of control over the excesses of social movement politics that occasionally try to force themselves on campus operations.

    The problem I have with your interpretation of mid-60's Berkeley being the paragon of free speech is that the Free Speech Movement mostly preached the success of the intellectual predecessor for our current dilemma. It was a respectable argument to suggest that having inconvenient "free speech zones," was a needless restriction. Further, the viability of the loyalty oath also deserved to be critiqued (though, I admit, I found the arguments about Communist Party-doctrinaire impeding intellectual debate and honesty--discussed most notably by Sidney Hook, William Buckley, and others to be compelling). It was also understandable that a number of students, including a number of Berkeley's graduate students, felt that the instructional faculty were too distracted by their own research to mentor young minds. While students of Berkeley argued they were strengthening student speech accessibility in the campus, in all actuality they were attempting to quash respectable decorum in campus speaking events, dilution of intellectual rigor in program curriculum, and attempted to prevent staff from fulfilling the responsibilities of the university by bringing it all to a halt. Mere months later they extended this concept to attempting to prevent faculty from exercising their own academic freedom because it did not jive with their anti-Vietnam war/anti-military research agenda. At first they had legitimate concerns, but it got out of hand quickly and resorted to being little more than an excuse to pillory and restrict several respectable political ideologies in order to raise their own to the forefront.
    Berkley has long been an institution of progressive liberal thinking and that is not a bent of mind that is known for tolerance. So it would not be surprising, if things that might be found to be disturbing to the progressive soul. At first it might be enough to scream down the opposition. But that proves less effective as one's ideology takes control.

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    It's Time to Free Speech on Campus Again
    Janet Napolitano, Boston Globe
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    It's Time to Free Speech on Campus Again
    Janet Napolitano, Boston Globe
    Greetings, Jack.

    I'm heartened to see that some are speaking out against what appears to be the status quo, as shown in the link you provided. Students are there to learn, not to be programmed into a certain way of thinking like we do with robots, IMO.

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    Re: Professors' Abandonment of Free Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by polgara View Post
    Greetings, Jack.

    I'm heartened to see that some are speaking out against what appears to be the status quo, as shown in the link you provided. Students are there to learn, not to be programmed into a certain way of thinking like we do with robots, IMO.
    Happy Sunday, Polgara.

    Well said.

    My guess is we have different views of today's NFL match-up.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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