The National Coalition Against Censorship is gravely concerned about President Trump’s vague announcement of a proposed executive order tying federal research funding to universities’ adherence to a free-speech code. Government control of campus speech under the guise of protecting free speech is more likely to chill academic freedom than to encourage greater diversity of thought.
Public universities are already subject to the First Amendment, which protects speech on campus, including by students, faculty, invited speakers and protestors. Universities must be free to determine who teaches and what should be taught, as well as how to handle dissent on campus. While some universities have struggled to balance campus safety with openness to political disagreement, government interference on this scale would shred academic freedom and strike at the heart of American higher education.