FREE SPEECH 61: The Free Speech Crisis... Is It Real? Jeffrey Sachs
Self-appointed watchdog groups rank colleges on free speech scores. Legislatures and politicians want to punish universities that don’t uphold free-speech in ways they define. Is there really a crisis? Do the studies reveal that students are less committed to free speech than an earlier generation? Are people allowed to say what they want, or do faculty and students live in fear of being challenged and then 'canceled' via online campaigns? If the university is predominantly liberal, does that affect what is taught, and how students learn? Should universities institute a test for hiring committees to make sure they pick enough candidates from all sides of the political spectrum? Does a professor's political position influence the way she grades? I spoke with Jeffrey Sachs teaches political science at Acadia University. He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies and has written widely on the speech controversies on campus. He explained to me how to read the studies correctly, how to interpret the idea that there is a crisis over speech, and why this debate has inflamed the passions of so many, both inside and outside of the academy.