Campus culture wars elucidate difference between freedom of speech, academic freedom: Opinion


In an opinion piece for the Globe and Mail, Jacob T Levy (McGill University) discusses how campus culture wars provide a teachable moment on the differences between academic freedom and freedom of speech. Levy asserts that confusion between the two terms has caused considerable debate within the postsecondary space, especially in the last six months. He argues that university leadership must commit to academic freedom–which he defines as comprising the freedom to teach, be evaluated only on academic grounds, and follow evidence where it leads–as well as freedom of extramural speech and institutional neutrality. “With those rules in place, they can provide the site and space for students and faculty alike to study, explore, discuss and debate, to celebrate, mourn and protest, even the most divisive questions in political life,” Levy concludes.

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