Discussions of the rationale behind, value of institutional neutrality: Opinion

Two recent opinion articles—published in Times Higher Education and the Chronicle of Higher Ed—examine the growing trend toward institutional neutrality. Both Daniel Diermeier (THE) and Michael Vasquez (Chronicle) reflect on the history of institutional neutrality and the standards set by the University of Chicago’s 1967 Kalven Report. Diermeier outlines the reasoning behind using institutional neutrality in times of polarized political climates to ensure a “vigorous culture of free speech and open enquiry.” Diermeier also highlights how institutional neutrality helps the university avoid difficult circumstances such as double standards, a precedent of immediate arbitration on each emerging issue, or prioritization of politics over the pursuit of truth. Vasquez discusses the fallout of cases where US universities or colleges have either adopted a position of institutional neutrality or taken a position on a contentious issue.

Times Higher Education (Diermeier) | Chronicle of Higher Ed (Vasquez)