On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos kept her promise to protect free speech on college campuses, issuing the Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities final rule.
The rule states:
Under the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence protecting the individual’s right to his own ideas and beliefs, “no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” As a result, officials at public institutions may not abridge their students’ or employees’ expressions, ideas, or thoughts.
Academic freedom’s noble premise is that the vigilant protection of free speech unshackled from the demands and constraints of censorship will help generate new thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and even questions and doubts about previously undisputed ideas. Although academic freedom’s value derives itself from the fact that its “results . . . are to