The Kalven Report of 1967, supposedly ensuring the political neutrality of the University of Chicago

In 1967, President George Beadle of the University of Chicago (a Nobel-winning geneticist and also an avowed atheist) convened a committee whose charge was to “prepare a statement on the University’s role in social and political action.” This was the result of many people calling for the University to take positions on political issues like … Continue reading The Kalven Report of 1967, supposedly ensuring the political neutrality of the University of Chicago

U of C President clarifies and affirms University’s refusal to take official stands on political, ideological, and moral issues

For a while I’ve been dismayed by the posting of statement after woke statement on departmental websites of the University of Chicago, all espousing doctrines adhering to Critical Race Theory or the Black Lives Matter movement, and often castigating their own group for a past history of racism in a University department or school—a history … Continue reading U of C President clarifies and affirms University’s refusal to take official stands on political, ideological, and moral issues

FIRE has a chat about free speech with the University of Chicago’s incoming President

As of September 1, our estimable leader, Bob Zimmer, is retiring as President of the University of Chicago and will become Chancellor, retaining his interest in the free-speech principles that he supported so strongly over the past 15 years (I hope he’ll also keep his interest in our ducks as well!). Our new President is … Continue reading FIRE has a chat about free speech with the University of Chicago’s incoming President

More violations of my University’s principle of political neutrality

I hope you’ve kept up at least minimally with what I’ve written about the University of Chicago and the Kalven Report—the 1967 document that set the tone for University discourse by declaring that the school would remain neutral on all issues of morality, ideology, and politics, with a few rare exceptions having to do with … Continue reading More violations of my University’s principle of political neutrality

Ben Schwarz on the University of Chicago’s new grad-school admissions policy

I’ve written several posts about the dissolution of The University of Chicago’s commitment to free expression, embodied in the Kalven Report‘s mandate that—except in exceptional circumstances involving University operation—our school should take no official stand on any issues of morality, ideology, or politics (see, for instance, here, here, and here). And up to now it … Continue reading Ben Schwarz on the University of Chicago’s new grad-school admissions policy

Another violation of academic freedom at The University of Chicago

As I’ve written here before, the University of Chicago has several “foundational principles”. These include the famous Chicago Principles of Free Expression, promoting complete freedom of speech, which have been adopted by over sixty universities. They also include the Kalven Report, which prohibits the University, with a few rare exceptions, of taking official political, moral, or … Continue reading Another violation of academic freedom at The University of Chicago

U. Chicago student government demands elimination of Israel, but University administration refuses to take stand on Israel/Palestine war

I’ve been at the University of Chicago for 35 years now, but never have I felt so alienated, at least politically, from the student body. As the Chicago Maroon (our student newspaper) reports, the incoming University of Chicago Undergraduate Student Government (USG) released a statement in conjunction with the blatantly anti-Semitic organization Students for Justice … Continue reading U. Chicago student government demands elimination of Israel, but University administration refuses to take stand on Israel/Palestine war

University of Chicago student government refuses to retract pro-Palestinian, pro-BDS, anti-Zionist statement

Six days ago I reported that the incoming University of Chicago Undergraduate Student Government (USG) issued a statement in conjunction with the anti-Semitic organization Students for Justice in Palestine. This is an official position of the U of C’s student government (click on document to enlarge or to see it in situ). The support for … Continue reading University of Chicago student government refuses to retract pro-Palestinian, pro-BDS, anti-Zionist statement

U of C English Department now accepting only grad students intending to work in Black studies

In July I wrote about a statement that the Department of English put on its webpage—a statement about social justice that, I thought, contravened the University of Chicago’s Kalven Principles by allowing an official unit of the University to espouse and adhere to ideological principles. (Kalven encourages individual faculty to state their views, but forbids … Continue reading U of C English Department now accepting only grad students intending to work in Black studies

A hard case to make a good law: the ideological impurity of David Starkey

The original saying I paraphrase above, from Oliver Wendell Holmes, is “hard cases make bad law”, meaning you shouldn’t erect general principles based on extreme cases. But in this instance, regarding the defenestration of scholars who say things unpalatable to their peers, or odious things in general, these are the hard cases that should be … Continue reading A hard case to make a good law: the ideological impurity of David Starkey