Press Releases | Freedom of Expression

ACTA Urges Indiana University Trustees to Stand for Academic Freedom

Campus petition to cancel Murray’s remarks violates campus free speech and free expression
April 10, 2017 by ACTA

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a leading higher education reform organization, today sent a letter to the Indiana University Board of Trustees, urging them proactively to ensure prominent social scientist and American Enterprise Institute W.H. Brady Scholar Charles Murray is allowed to speak tomorrow night.

Indiana University─Bloomington’s Tocqueville Program and the American Enterprise Institute are cosponsoring Murray’s talk, “The ‘Coming Apart’ Election,” tomorrow. ACTA has recognized the Tocqueville Program as an Oasis of Excellence for its commitment to intellectually-rich liberal arts programming on campus. But mounting resistance from faculty and students threatens to derail the event.

ACTA President Michael Poliakoff said of the petition:

“As we saw with the appalling actions at Middlebury College last month, silencing an invited speaker is not only an enormous disservice to intellectual diversity on campus, but also an overt attack on the values of free speech and academic freedom. Indiana University─Bloomington must honor this invitation and do everything in its power to ensure that Dr. Murray can deliver his remarks as planned. This includes staffing the event with a sufficient number of security officers and removing those who attempt to disrupt the talk.”

“Faculty and students who disagree have every right to dissent, express their own views, and engage in constructive debate, but they must not be permitted to obstruct free speech. Any attempt to silence or disrupt an invited speaker should be met with severe sanctions, up to and including suspension and expulsion. Moving forward, IU should adopt as policy a robust statement in support of the First Amendment and academic freedom. It should be clear to the campus community that the free exchange of ideas will be honored, regardless of who may be speaking.”


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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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