Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech
Keith E. Whittington
Why colleges and universities live or die by free speech
Free speech is under attack at colleges and universities today, as critics on and off campus challenge the value of freewheeling debate. In Speak Freely, Keith Whittington argues that universities must protect and encourage vigorous free speech because it goes to the heart of their mission to foster freedom of thought, ideological diversity, and tolerance. Examining hot-button issues such as trigger warnings, safe spaces, hate speech, disruptive protests, speaker disinvitations, and the use of social media by faculty, Speak Freely describes the dangers of empowering campus censors to limit speech and enforce orthodoxy. It explains why universities must make space for voices from both the Left and Right. And it points out how better understanding why the university lives or dies by free speech can help guide students, faculty, administrators, and alumni when faced with unpopular, hateful, or dangerous speech. Timely and vitally important, Speak Freely shows why universities can succeed only by fostering more free speech, more free thought—and a greater tolerance for both.
Keith E. Whittington is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University.