WASHINGTON, DC — The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) today released its newest Perspectives on Higher Education essay: Building a Culture of Free Expression on the American College Campus: Challenges & Solutions. The report is written by Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm, a distinguished historian and constitutional scholar at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University.
On a daily basis, higher education leaders grapple with issues surrounding free expression and the forces that protect or degrade it within the academy. A number of institutions have pioneered best practices to foster intellectual freedom, while others continue to enforce “safe spaces” and speech codes that limit the exploration of controversial political viewpoints. Recent surveys show that a significant percentage of students now favor limiting certain aspects of free speech on their campuses. Overall, American higher education is caught in a tug of war of opposing values on the importance of freedom of inquiry and speech.
In this timely essay, Dr. Malcolm outlines the pivotal historical and contemporary dynamics surrounding freedom of expression, and provides recommendations and best practices for higher education leaders to build and protect a campus culture of freedom of opinion and speech.
Michael Poliakoff, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni observed: “Joyce Malcolm, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a leading authority on Constitutional law, has honored ACTA by serving on its Council of Scholars. In this important essay, she now brings a historian’s vision—and sense of urgency—to the challenges of preserving the freedom of thought and inquiry on which all higher education worthy of the name depends.”
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