After deplatforming judge, Stanford pledges to add free speech to admissions, training
June 5, 2023
Stanford University is taking small steps toward changing its reputation as a hostile environment for viewpoint diversity based on faculty campaigns to marginalize heterodox thinkers and law students shutting down of a federal judge with help from a diversity administrator.
President Marc Tessier-Lavigne laid out plans to incorporate “academic freedom and the free expression of ideas” into admissions, student orientation and a subset of staff training in his annual address to the Academic Council last month, though with few supporting details.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which recently targeted Stanford for chilling campus speech through measures such as its since-rescinded “Elimination of Harmful Language” guide, said the president’s pledges are in line with the good-governance group’s “Gold Stanford for Freedom of Expression.”
The academic engine of Silicon Valley, which receives a middling “speech code” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, is tentatively following in the footsteps of Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago from 2006 to 2021, who died May 23.