(from The Chronicle of Higher Education):
By Peter Wood
In February the president of Williams College, Adam Falk, sent an email to the Williams College community announcing that he was taking “the extraordinary step” of canceling a speech on campus that the freelance writer John Derbyshire was scheduled to make at the invitation of a student group.
Falk’s decision was met by criticism from the student newspaper and by defenders of intellectual freedom from many points on the political spectrum. The conservative editor Roger Kimball declared that Falk had “disgraced himself” by writing “a chiseled, gem-like epitome of the self-righteous intolerance that has so blighted academic life for the last couple of decades.” Henry Reichman, a liberal and chair of the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, wrote that Falk’s decision “paternalistically denies to students the right to hear controversial views and to determine for themselves what they think.”
Within minutes of Falk’s sending his email, a Williams faculty member forwarded it to me. I wrote to Falk to ask him to explicate one sentence in his email. He had said that he holds free speech “in extremely high regard,” but “there’s a line somewhere.” With the prospect of a speech by John Derbyshire, “We’ve found the line.” CONTINUE READING HERE