Press Releases | Freedom of Expression

ACTA Praises U. of Alaska President for Defending the First Amendment

ACTA Praises President Mark Hamilton for Demanding That Chancellors Guarantee the Free Exchange of Ideas on Campus without Caveat or Condition
April 3, 2001

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni today praised University of Alaska president Mark Hamilton for strongly upholding the First Amendment.

Hamilton issued a memorandum to campus chancellors demanding that they guarantee the free exchange off ideas on campus without caveat or condition. “Attempts to assuage anger or to demonstrate concern by qualifying our support for free speech serve to cloud what must be a clear message,” Hamilton wrote.

The memorandum was issued after administrators on the Anchorage campus suggested that a faculty member might be sanctioned for writing a poem that offended some members of the campus community.

“At a time when many presidents simply cower rather than stand up for basic principles, University of Alaska president Mark Hamilton is a shining exception,” said Jerry L. Martin, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

“It is the responsibility of a university to teach that the right way to counter ideas with which one disagrees is with more speech, not less,” said Martin. “This is exactly what President Hamilton has does.”

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is a nonprofit national education organization of alumni and trustees dedicated to academic freedom and excellence.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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