The Bipartisan Policy Center has a new report titled “Campus Free Expression: A New Roadmap.” From the executive summary:
- First, colleges and universities must address the perceived tension that pits academic freedom and freedom of expression against diversity, equity, and inclusion in creating a respectful learning environment for all. While not ignoring that there may be expression that is hurtful, we believe profoundly that free expression is an essential means to an inclusive campus in addition to being essential to higher education’s academic and civic missions.
- Second, colleges and universities should take steps to encourage more viewpoint diversity on campus. Exposing students to a wide range of perspectives and methods of confronting issues is essential for both a well-rounded education and as preparation for the rigors of citizenship in a diverse society.
- Third, colleges and universities should adopt strong policies for the protection of free expression for students and faculty, to forestall hasty or ad hoc responses to controversial expression, and to defend the expression of unorthodox and controversial views.
- Fourth, colleges and universities should elevate the skills and dispositions necessary to academic and civic discourse as a deliberate aim of the collegiate experience. Formal protections for free expression are necessary but insufficient to create a culture of free expression, open inquiry, and respectful, productive debate on campus and in our country. We have a national civic skills deficit, which colleges and universities have an essential role in remedying. Matriculating students typically need coaching and instruction in these skills and habits of mind, and our aim should be to graduate students who raise the bar for national discourse