News, Events, and Resources

  • Harvard didn’t plagiarize Chicago’s Kalven approach

    In the Report on Institutional Voice in the University, the Institutional Voice working group wrote, the “university and its leaders should not…issue official statements about public matters that do not directly affect the university’s core function.”

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  • Citing Free Expression, Efficacy, MIT Drops DEI Statements

    MSN reports: “MIT will no longer require diversity statements in its faculty-hiring process, making it the first elite university to abandon the practice.” MIT President Sally Kornbluth told the National Review, “We can build an inclusive environment in many ways, but compelled statements impinge on freedom of expression, and they don’t work.” This is significant…

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  • Fish’s view of the role of the university

    Stanley Fish writes in the Lamp: Nothing in our charters, employment contracts, or compliance requirements directs us or authorizes us to play a role on the world’s stage. No applicant for a position is asked to produce political credentials; the credentials you must produce are academic. What training have you had in the field in…

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  • Kennedy on DEI Statements

    Harvard Law’s Randall Kennedy writes in the Crimson that DEI statements create a ideological litmus test: By overreaching, by resorting to compulsion, by forcing people to toe a political line, by imposing ideological litmus tests, by incentivizing insincerity, and by creating a circular mode of discourse that is seemingly impervious to self-questioning, the current DEI…

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  • Bar-Yoshafat Event Held Without Incident

    The Los Angeles Times reports: Three weeks after violence broke out at a private event organized by Jewish student groups at UC Berkeley and protested by pro-Palestinian demonstrators, the speech took place Monday and unfolded without issue.

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  • Pamela Paul on Institutional Neutrality

    Pamela Paul writes in the New York Times: The temptation for universities to take a moral stand, especially in response to overheated campus sentiment, is understandable. But it’s a trap. When universities make it their mission to do the “right” thing politically, they’re effectively telling large parts of their communities — and the polarized country…

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  • Statement on Return Event for Ran Bar-Yoshafat

    Executive Committee Statement We write as Berkeley faculty in response to the news that several student groups plan to host the Israeli speaker Ran Bar-Yoshafat for a return visit on Monday, March 18. Our group has no position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but we are committed to defending free expression on campus. The last time…

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  • Harvard May Consider Institutional Neutrality

    The Harvard Crimson reports: Interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber ’76 is expected to announce a working group that will consider a policy of institutional neutrality, a move that comes just months after the University became embroiled in controversy over its response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

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  • Is Institutional Neutrality Catching On?

    The CHE reports: Amid a polarized political climate and debates about the war in Gaza and hot-button social issues like abortion rights, university leaders’ statements about current events have attracted attention and scrutiny. A small but growing number of institutions are responding to the pressure by swearing off such statements altogether.

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  • “Faculty for Yale” Formed

    The group’s founding commitments are: Of course, not everyone agrees with the diagnosis made by Faculty for Yale. A group of Yale faculty critical of institutional neutrality have penned “A Letter to the Next Yale President” with a different vision for the university.

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  • Gutkin: The Hyperbolic Style in American Academe

    CHE essayist Len Gutkin writes: …Over the last several years, a curious species of overheated activist prose has proved attractive to scholars across the university. Call it the hyperbolic style in American academe.

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  • Columbia Embraces Kalven

    Jerry Coyne reports that Columbia University has endorsed the Kalven (institutional neutrality) principles—one of just four campuses to do so.

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  • Columbia Adopts Institutional Neutrality, Governance Resolution

    In a 68-0 vote, Columbia’s Academic Senate adopted a resolution “Reconfirming our Commitment to the Principles of Academic Freedom and Shared Governance.” The Senate resolved: Columbia’s senate details the debate and discussion surrounding the adoption here. In the Senate minutes, one proponent of the resolution explained academic freedom as both creating rights and responsibilities: Sen.…

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  • Columbia Creates Faculty Academic Freedom Council

    Over 70 faculty have come together to create the Columbia Academic Freedom Council. The group endorsed these responsibilities: I. Responsibility to protect academic freedom. Like many on campus, we believe that the liberal ideal of academic freedom—the freedom to think, write, publish, and teach without restrictions in the course of our duties as scholars—is core…

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  • IIS to Host Yoel Inbar

    Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies will host Yoel Inbar as part of its Berkeley Academic Freedom in a Global Perspective series. The talk, How Understanding Moral Thinking Can Help Us Understand Debates About Academic Freedom, is February 20th at 4 PM in 223 Philosophy Hall. Register here.

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