Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

18 February 2016

Free Speech is Mostly Restricted in American Colleges and Universities

FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has just produced its newest evaluation of the speech codes and policies of American Colleges and Universities.  FIRE has a list of the ten worst colleges and universities for free speech.  They are:

Mount St. Mary’s University  
Northwestern University, where a high school friend is an Economics Professor and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education  
Louisiana State University  
University of California, San Diego  
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota 
University of Oklahoma, from which a sister earned a BBA degree  
Marquette University  
Colorado College  
University of Tulsa, from which the same sister earned a Master of Taxation degree  
Wesleyan University

Because I have many family members and old high school friends who live in Oklahoma, the fact that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa are on this list is particularly distressing.  I would occasionally deal with the boredom of high school by playing hooky so I could spend 10 hours reading in the library of the University of Tulsa.  The Oklahoma State University also lowered its freedom of speech rating from a Yellow Light rating to a Red Light rating.  Apparently Oklahoma's academic professionals are playing catch-up with those of the longer established commitments to socialist elitist indoctrination, political correctness, and the belief that some groups are incapable of rational thought and forever governed by irrational emotions.

But, FIRE has been successful in creating a trend in the direction of more free speech in our colleges and universities.  The improvements have been slow and have required many a hard fight to bring about.  There are now 23 colleges and universities that have earned a good Green Light evaluation by FIRE of their speech codes, namely codes that guarantee free speech on the college campus.  This is up from 18 colleges and universities out of 440 which are evaluatedTwenty-two are listed here, and the University of Maryland - College Park has just been added to those with a Green Light freedom of speech evaluation.  The good, free colleges are:

Arizona State University
Black Hills State University
Carnegie Mellon University
Cleveland State University, where my wife took some courses to prepare for a change of major for graduate studies
Eastern Kentucky University
George Mason University, with a great Economics Dept., but many scientists who want to suppress the free speech of scientists who reject the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis
Mississippi State University
Oregon State University
Plymouth State University
Purdue University
Purdue University Calumet
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
The College of William and Mary
University of Florida

University of Maryland
University of Mississippi
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
University of North Florida
University of Pennsylvania
, the only Ivy League School with a free speech policy!
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
University of Utah
University of Virginia
Western State Colorado University

Unfortunately, the really awful Red Light evaluations still apply to 49.3% of the colleges and universities evaluated for the 2014-2015 academic year.  But this is a considerable improvement compared to the 75% of Red Light universities in the 2007-2008 academic year.  So, which American Universities that I have attended, my family members have attended, or my friends have attended are so inclined toward totalitarian free speech restrictions that they have landed on the FIRE Red Light list?

Brown University, where I earned my Sc.B. degree in Physics
Case Western Reserve University, where I earned my Ph.D. in Physics
Columbia University, where one of my daughter's earned her MBA
Franklin & Marshall College, where a colleague earned his B.S. in Chemistry
Georgia Institute of Technology, where a son-in-law earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a niece is pursuing an engineering degree
Johns Hopkins University, where two colleagues earned their Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry or Materials Science and Engineering
Lehigh University, where a colleague from the past earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry
Ohio University, where a fellow graduate student is now a Physics Professor
Oklahoma State University, which two sisters and my brother attended, as well as many high school friends
Pennsylvania State University, where an old colleague teaches
Princeton University, where a friend from Brown University earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where a graduate student friend earned his B.S. in Physics
Ohio State University, where many of my wife's family earned their degrees
University of Cincinnati, for whose faculty and graduate students I have provided many analyses
Dartmouth College, where two high school friends earned undergraduate degrees
University of North Carolina - Greensboro, where a sister lives
University of Texas at Austin, from which a daughter earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
University of Tulsa, from which a sister earned a Master of Taxation degree

When Brown University and Case Western Reserve University ask me for donations to their "educational" endeavors, it does not endear them to me that I know that they are not primarily interested in helping their students to learn thinking skills and to develop independent minds.  They are largely in the business of producing socialist elitists in a carefully controlled environment with very limited freedom of speech.  Neither does it give me a warm and fuzzy feeling to think of the fortune my wife and I spent to send a daughter to one of these schools.  She compounded the indoctrination problem by earning an MBA at another of these strictly controlled indoctrination schools.

At least the generally dismal condition of our American colleges and universities is slowly improving on the whole.  Instead of giving donations to Brown University and Case Western Reserve University, I will give the money I might have given to them to institutions interested in studies and educational efforts that benefit individuals who value liberty and rational thought.  FIRE is one such organization.

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