ERIC Number: EJ766028
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr-20
Reference Count: N/A
Gould, Jon B.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n33 pB13 Apr 2007
Last December saw another predictable report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a self-described watchdog group, highlighting how higher education is supposedly under siege from a politically correct plague of so-called hate-speech codes. In that report, FIRE declared that as many as 96 percent of top-ranked colleges "prohibit speech that, outside the borders of campus, is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution." But contrary to the group's contention, academic freedom and open discourse are not seriously threatened at American colleges. If anything, academe does a better job of preserving free speech than do its cousins in the service of an open civil society, the news media and online service providers. Indeed, FIRE largely fails to explain how it reaches its overly broad conclusions, and a sober look at the group's charges finds an increasingly ideological organization that exaggerates the facts to make political hay. In this article, the author criticizes FIRE's claims that colleges fail to live up to their lofty aims of free speech and academic freedom.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Constitutional Law, Organizations (Groups), Social Discrimination, College Administration, Standards, Academic Freedom, Freedom of Speech
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment