tv Academic Freedom and Diversity CSPAN January 21, 2017 3:42am-5:16am EST
cats. they don't think much of americans. >> political science at johns's hopkins talk about his book what washington gets wrong. the officials who run the government and misconceptions about the american people. what do we learn, we electric a congress that makes the law, the president executes the law, the court review the laws but that ain't exactly how the system works. much what we think of as the law, consists of rules and regulation written by bu cats who have served forbe decades. academic freedom and
diversity on college campus. filmmaker authors and professor and yale universitys and michigan and chicago. it's about 90 minutes. good evening. i guess it's evening time. for those who don't know me, i'm neil good man, dean here at university of chicago. i want to thank you for joining us for this evening's
events. sometimes controversial and even ideas that challenge popular wisdom bring to bear evidence. such ideas can at times fuel advance or break throughs on most vexing questions interest problems of our day. once of the most indes penceble pillars in higher education is the cardinal principal and practice of academic freedom, pursuit of idea concepts, evidence and knowledge and the passing on of such in our education of students. while the principal of academic freedom is essential freedom of american higher education, the university of chicago has distinctionive and
held approach to academic freedom which i'm sure you will be hearing more this evening. the school of social service administration as professional school of social work bennes fits and contributed academic freedom in unfettered pursuit of ideas, that address the concerns of those vulnerable and marginalize. contentious of social problems and we do so in search for real solution and so educate social equity and justice. the ideas we discuss don't just stay among the scholars but they are developed and can delivered to have tangle
benefits to people and their lives. ssa is oftentimes a crucible of ideas and implications in the best sense of the word who are searching to forge greater insight and light and enduring solution out of what is oftentimes the heat of polarized over simple fiez and not tested ideas or strategies. a second pillar in higher education is diversity on fall view community individuals from different backgrounds live experience and statuses especially those from
unrepresented or -- societial inclusion this argue bli the most institution in our society which fosters entering into sben gra inter-grags into mainstream. all of its members are enriched by the mutual expose your to divergent experience, backgrounds and view points. in this way our value on diversity is intertwined in a branch from the same tree as academic freedom. is bring too universities and experience brings with it questioning the a assumptions of challenge of prevailing idea, the again at university of chicago, ssa,
given we're school of social work, inclusion, and access, and reaching ground understanding and those marginalized. because of the value of the ideas served complementary values for the reason of the ssa hosting this evenings on this topic. for this, i especially want to thank ssa professors for their initiative in working with my office to putting together this evening's panel. as well as
before she does that i also want to thank university of chicago president who provided his vision and leadership on this issue here at the university of chicago, bob. >> let me say how much i appreciate the idea of hosting this panel and hosting this discussion on this topic. the topic -- joint topics should say of academic freedom and its companion, free expression and diversity, which
i like thinking about a bit more bro broadly and particularly so for the university of chicago. neil described very beautifully why these are so important. i might just offer my own take on this, which is to start, universities are not just a random collection of people who are here doing what they feel like doing. and the mission finding vehicles of the impact of that education and research. if we are going to do the
students justice, if we'll have an environment and prepare themselves it is a court to the functioning of the university in fulfilling the core missions. in a similar way the diversity for two reasons neil eluded to. first, if one will be engaged having a bunch of people all from the same background and similar perspectives sitting around fundamentally agreeing with each other is not the way to make serious events and not the way to create an environment of intellectual challenge so
backgrounds and believes for the kind of rigorous analysis that underlies for the success. there is another reason diversity is so important. that goes beyond the university itself of, which is that universities does not exist in isolation. it exits in a societal context and exists in history. it's no surprise to anyone that the history of really all countries, but the very particularly this country has an enormous amount of collusion nar behavior built into its history. we have therefore a dual obligation, an obligation as fulfilling our own mission and bringing those diverse
perspectives there but we also have an obligation as an important member of society to deal with the particular history of this country and the exclusionary aspects that have been involved in it. i think neil articulated the meaning of ssa very nicely in terms of doing that from the point of view. it has an obligation that direction. now, some people have argued that these two issues are in conflict to some extend, that academic freedom and free expression on one hand and diversity and exclusion on the other hand are in conflict. saying that there's no tension between them would be
disingenuo disingenuous. it is that one needs to recognize there are tensions that need to be worked out. anything less than an aspiration to fully embrace both of these values is failing ourselves as an institution. i think the reason that we are able to have such a discussion goes back to what we were saying, it's an kpafrp of open discourse and rigorous analysis and free expression.
so it just be -- i want to thank neil and faculty here at ssa for organizing this and i'm sure you'll have a fascinating evening. thank you very much. >> thank you. i will be the moderator this evening. i will take several roles that i will explain in a moment. i would like to extend a special thanks to my faculty and staff. i am humbled to see we are at stranding room only.
the success of this dialogue in this practice deeply rests with each of you. i will explain that more in a moment. we will proceed by giving a brief introduction to this panel. i will introduce each of the panelists. they will each talk for about ten minutes. i will then pose a question to them. we probably won't -- i have given them four questions. we will probably get through one or go. i will transition us to this evening's informal event. it is a bit of a social experiment that is to come. so in 1915 the american association of university of professors laid the foundation for much of today's
understanding of academic freedom and tenure. and we were shaping these long before the 1915 statement. most recently in 2014 ie zachs formed a special committee on freedom of expression chaired by one of our panelists that restates the universities enduring commitment and a resolute core principal and value here at this institution. president simer has already referenced this and i'm sure professors will likely discuss this and their leadership in our university's contemporary practice of this in their individual remarks.
for the contemporary university, however, debates do persist around the limit of academic freedom in the context of growing on campus and a climate that is inclusive to a demographically diverse student, staff and faculty body. this year the university of chicago dean of students issued a welcome statement to students reaffirming to academic freedom and our constitutional rejection of silencing or avoiding uncomfortable or disagreeable ie ideas or perspectives. this was met with vigorous national response more deeply
positioning university of chicago itself as a symbol of academic freedom. this afternoon is a time for us as a university community to engage with each other and fully practice this freedom. it is my hope that we all deepen our understanding of and ability to critically understand the ways which this value is interpreted and practiced. now i would like to briefly introduce our expert panel. we are deeply honored to have each one of you here. each of our panelists is a distinguished scholar. i apologize in advance. we'll stick to names and affiliations. to my far left is boyer, next we
have jeff stone, service professor at university of chicago's law school. next is professor graywall, associate professor, departments of religious study from yale university. and last but not least fprofessr of social work, psychology, college of literature and the inaugural director with that i would love for us to begin with you. >> thank you very much. i thought i would talk about two subjects that are of some interest to me. i became interested from an
time subsequently there have been other episodes and all too many and being criticized for things they would say. this is certainly a live issue. i want to say two things about it. first of all, from the point of view of the history of the university i published last year. it is available in the bookstore. that's a plug, by the way. but i want to draw from that something that is unique and that's the european context.
a and criticized and particularly the universities of berlin and big foreign and german higher education. many of our founding faculty were trained or had studied at them. it was at least enough time to be able to draw it from inspiration on the practice of economic freedom. these were ideas that were rather strange for americans to comprehend. they were paid to actually do the state's bidding.
the states decided that the bidding had to do with creation of original research as a natural cultural product. in some ways there was an initial -- a tendency to create -- to create this new knowledge one had to allow and permit the faculty to have the freedom to do it. there was already built in in order to be perfectly as it were supporting cultural renewal it had to be free. it was really embedded from the fwining and the model that these young persons observed, partook of and wanted to bring over to
the united states. they did it in a very powerful way. many were trained in germany. they really self-consciously or associate from fessers but but also in the way that they understand their rights and responsibili responsibility, the pride their work would carry with it. such more concept of this professional maturity was the idea of being freed. it was also within the broader civic realm. one was a private citizen and could speak one's opinion bradl bradley. wg chicago's history the
idea became part of a bundle of concepts they used to reimagine what a university was. it seems to be a training institution. it became a sight for the advancement of scholarship. not only did the faculty embrace this but they also began to understand their mission as teachers using the same concept. because if they were scholars -- all due respect, for undergraduate education. these ideas did not immerge on contestant. there is one in which buys
university actions. the willingness of universities themselves and patrons in the case of public yefrt state government. one finds very similar controversies in germany. i have written with a involve tire affairs. everyone disagreeing how much were being to film those that were filming that freedom. >> i also want to mention that within the history of higher education in europe during this period, 1890 to 1914 one finds very powerful voices, what it
new universities, chicago was very much -- the culture became independent. feeling itself is almost a bearer of this great journal ideas. the kind of fi-- it didn't medd. it was very easy for the fact that they freed themselves from the practice of these values and these identities over time. it is this culture that robert hutchens decided several of the things that he has written. he was able to do what he did and to defend the value of economic freedom.
are joining a process by which they are expected to acquire the skills of a scholar then over time especially over the generations one begins to nurture not only a way which faculty relate to students but the students relate to each other. one finds it a very intensive interactive. it was not typical. i think it's important to remember this culture was not only going to -- it was infused
>> i want to start by emphasizing that the reassurance of free expression is not something to be taken for granted. it is in fact vulnerable and always been so any commitment poses a serious risk to the core functioning of universities as we have come to understand them. so i think it's important to go back a bit and understand how colleges and universities have evolved. if you go back to the early years there was no such thing as an assumption in the united states. the basic assumption of how the institutions operated was under
moralism which meant ideas could be put forth by faculty or by students only in so far as they were consistent about what ideas were moeral and appropriate. anyone who departed from the clear assumptions could be suspended, fired, expelled, whatever without anybody looking twice. what did it mean? it meant one could not challenge the proposition that africans were inferior and a host of other values that were taken for granted as a given. anyone who challenged those ideas would not be argued with.
they would be thrown out. if you must've further in time as the united states moved towards civil war one of the most contentious issues was slavery. in that period lines were drawn very clearly. at universities and colleges in the north anyone could defend laboring and find itself thrown out of the institution. anyone who challenged the moera legitimacy. nobody questioned this. this was the authority to make judgments about what was right and what was wrong. if you did not speak in accord with those judgments you were out. think of general motors. general motors couldn't decide among employees what views they expressed are okay or not okay. if somebody says something general motors doesn't want to hear they would be fired and
nobody would say academic freedom. they would be fired. that's the way colleges and universities operated. this came to ahead during the battle when the mainstream views and universities was committed to creationism and the idea was seen as not only sacrilege use but logically come pleeltly flawed and inappropriate. there were constitutions that fired and expelled students who advocated this radical and ridiculous idea of revolution. it was in that battle that for the first time the idea of free expression as a value of universities and academic freedoms began to crystallize. the idea being that institutions have to be places where people can challenge the accepted wisdom, where the accepted wisdom may not be right.
it may not be true that africans are infer yod and womens place is in the home and homo sexuality is immoral. the ideas that they existed for the purpose of allowing it a challenge came over those years to be much more accepted the fist president of the the reality is any commitment to that has been contingent. universities began to be
expression -- universities found themselves facedd with pressure to expel and fire them that was sympatheticic to communism. the push back was about freedom of expression. the university of chicago really stood pretty much alone in standing up against them. hutchens stood up and said no. at this university our students are allowed to hear whatever ideas they want to hear. we will not silence them. and that characterized an ocean
of free expression in the community. this has continued to be under assault and will always be under assault. argue about it, think about it. by doing so it creates students and citizens who are capable of having those fights in the future, who are capable of dealing with ideas they find problematic and to fight it out and to win battles. and it is impairtive that we resist the temptation and to
silence everyone who thinks differently than we do. that is not the way to achieve knowledge. it's not the way to achieve democracy and it's not the way to have intellectual issues. can you hear me? i like the podium. i have developed a habit, i guess. i actually had some slides. i didn't work to get them up from you. i am going to read off and that's why i need a little bit of space. one of them is a picture of the letter that went out to incoming students from the dean.
it had this sentence. our commitment to academic freedom means we do not support trigger warnings. we do not cancel invited speakers and we do not condone intellectual safe spaces where individuals can retreat from perspectives at odds of their own. what i am about to say is not a trigger warning. it is a spoiler alert. we'll talk about the difference between spoiler alerts, trigger warnings and content notes. so the title of my remarks today is whose free speech the manufactured crisis, that's the spoiler alert. this is not the idea that this is in part a manufactured crisis. this is not simply my opinion
that much of the anxiety about free speech on campuses is a manufactured crisis. i think it's important to think about it. i'm happy we are doing that today. i think it in fact alerts us to a number of things happening in our political culture. i will go to the 90s when there was a lot of media hysteria, political correctness and diversity and what it was doing to intellectual culture. we'll talk about all of those things. so i want to just read first from the report that came out from penn, which is an argue anization devoted to free speech. it is called diversity inclusion
and they go through a number of cases of these campus controversies. yale university being one of them. one of my students is the cover girl if you look at the report. i want to read from the summary statements. okay. it says while free speech is alive and well on campus it must be vigilantly guarded. second point, while current campus controversies merit attention these do not represent a pervasive crisis. the next point, the dialogues, debates take place on many campuses have the potential to trance piez that impeded participation of marginalized groups. these controversies have the
potential to unleash new and important voices there by expanding for everybody's benefits. they are treated as if they are encouraged on free peach when they are manifestations on free speech. free expression should be recognized as a principal that will not exclude minority voices but rather to amplify them. so that's the report. i talk a little bit about that. i first believed it should be an uncomfortable place. i have never hput a warning on y syllabi. we have a real misconception about what a trigger warning is. the idea is that a trigger warning will tell you if you will be triggered, that you'll
be traumatized by the content. the problem is whoever is reading it suffers from ptsd. that's different from a content warning. content warning is letting someone know this content, you might not realize it but it might trouble you in ways -- like a book on lynching you can fig your out what my class will be about. let me give you an example. we had a suicide on our campus. that day i was going to show a film called hell house. it is about evangelical christians that put on morality plays where they do a number of things, make a number of controversial statements, things i thought might upset my students including an act of
suicide where the person who commitments suicide goes to hell and is sort of taunted by the devil. i sent an e-mail because the students were on the same track team as the person who just commitmented suicide. i also said i understand if you don't want to watch this today but i hope we can talk about mental health and actually they all came. is that a trigger warning? i guess that's the closest thing i have ever done to a trigger warning. the question of trigger warnings as this pervasive exercise that professors are engaging in is a question. i actually went through and looked for any syllabi at yale that have a trigger warning on them.
i couldn't find one. so i wonder how many syllabi at the university of chicago have a trigger warning on them that elicited this letter. is this in fact a problem that so many syllabi have these warnings for these students? who is this sort of imagined student body that's being warned? so i guess i think that, you know -- what i want us to think about, i guess, is what's really going on here. who are these students? i thought of an essay made against students who seem oversensitive. i agree with the way she translates that. it is usually students of color that are being demonized on
generations of student activism to actually make them more inclusive. they are too sensitive it relates to a wider that describes a form of moral weakness much contemporary racism works by positioning the others as too easily offendable. when we think about the right to offend crowd who are those people? right? you know, i don't know how many of you caught this in the news but if there's a poster boy it's milo. he got a $250,000 book deal. i think he will get a chance to make his say.
you know, it's pretty hard to get banned from twitter. if that doesn't explain it, i don't know what does. the point being students of color in particular, that they are super fragile, oversensitive, can't handle exchange of ideas. everything is a personal -- i'm running out of time. coddled millennials that just need to grow up. luckily we'll have a chance to expand into other things as we go into the other questions. i think part of what happened with the controversy at yale is people saw that tiny viral version of this debate that happened on my campus is that there's two sides. there's the good lint
intellectual side. they want their hurt feelings indul indulged. i think that image of a young black woman, you know, which is a tiny slice of -- you know, it's not representative of the much more complex series of events and debates that happened. it is a couple of seconds of young girl, the reason it caught fire and caught the imagination of the american public is because it fuses to preexisting stereo types together of the coddled millennial and angry black woman. everything already thinks they know what's happening in all of our classrooms, they already know what's on our syllabi without having to look. i think what we needed to think
about is the predictable patterns. there are patterns in the types of folks that hold systems accountable. we have to make time to and we have to think about the right to offend who those people are. there are also other questions we might ask. to say diversity is not in conflict might be dis -- doesn't it compromise academic freedom other than with students of color now so that's really what i want us to think about, how are we framing this whole thing
in the academy and how it complicates our discussion of academic freedom. so as is the case with our other speakers on this panel my perspective is unique. it reflects who i am. my standpoint is that of a woman of color, a baby boomer and somebody who has attempted and worked as highly selected university. i am a direct beneficiary i was very fortunate to attend stanford university. in addition to those
standpoints. in this case i teach in the department of psychology at the university of michigan. so i have the experience of teaching liberal arts as well as professional school. i also chose to use any full time career to return to school as a graduate there was very little to that in 19 and seminars here and i know things have changed in education in general but we could all be
doing a lot more in terms of agenda and that's the agenda that motivated me to go back to school and enter social work education as a career and motivated much of my scholarship at yale. i want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem in our field and in our society. i think our previous panelists have done an excellent job describing the significance in higher education scholarship. when i was at earlier in my career i had the privilege who is a psychologist. at that time she was the at the university of michigan. in her inaugural address she
described it as analysis of cities which have communities within them. she described how students can see this environment and these are her words, as exciting, confusing, challenges, some times frustrating and often complex. these communities can be experienced as a place where challenges, rules and obligations and policies and procedures they may not fully understand or fully recognize in their experience. as an educator and scholar i find it to be a useful framework, to really try to think about how it is in the environment. this description relates both to their experiences within courses that we teach and their
tutorials. it is also relative to their krirk lar experiences surrounding their students at universities. one could argue that freedom is most relevant that students experience in their formal education in their tutorials and in the projects. it may be seen as less significant when we think about the activities that occur outside of courses but are a significant part of what scholars refer to as university experience. those things that we experienced and learned in higher education that are not part of the formal curriculum and in our outlines.
so why should we care about diversity? diversity in our world plays a huge role in what's going on currently. diversity is part of the hidden and the formal curriculum. when i look back at my other graduate years at stanford university the majority of faculty of students were white, were upper middle class, the upper class and they were very comfortable in an environment for expectations and a european american type of culture. the expectation at that time was that i, as a lower middle class, third generation there on affirmative action scholarships would learn to confirm. if i did not confirm i would
struggle and there was no one's responsibility but my own to figure out how to deal with that struggle. it was not and is not easy to be a woman of color whether a student, staff, member of faculty or named professor as i am. most university and faculty staff still expect confirmty. it is part of a hidden curriculum. our executions and society around them are growing in many different time of diversity, who is working in the universities and who is creating the knowledge that we are developing in the universities. and so this diversity will continue to grow in our society and world and our universities will also grow and change as well as our students live in and will continue to live in a very different reality from the one that i grew up in, the one that
my children, who are now adults, grew up in, and the one in which we are living currently. so we need our curriculum and we need to be attentive to how they support including voices of those who have traditional been outsiders. as somebody who teaches both in the liberal arts and professional school i can say that the tensions and dynamics that exist between academic freedom and diversity take a different form. fro pro fegsal schools where faculty and students come together bound by a mission and prepare students to learn to practice particular fields that will benefit our society.
professional schools we do build upon a liberal arts space. we engage in the kind of work but we also have a role to prepare students to work towards a particular professional mission. it is the case -- this is the case in all professional schools. and therefore faculties must focus on how well they are being prepared to work on an increasingly diverse world. it is obviously the one which i'm more familiar. i think we can think of parallels with other professionals as well. in respect to diversity the mission of social work education must be woven into our formal and informal curriculum. it is both explicit curriculum.
the national association of social workers of the united states describes social workers work in the following ways as promoting social change with and on behalf of clients. when they speak of clients that are inclusive of officials, families, groups, organizations and communities. in order to do this work it says the social workers must be sensitive toy cultural and ethics diversity and thrive to end other forms of social injustice. and that social workers should act and prevent elimination of domination, exploitation of and discrimination against any person on race, ethnicity,
sexual orientation, gender identity of expression, age, marital status, religion, immigration status or mental or physical disability. so those of us two have chosen to become a social worker or chosen to teach social work education or work as a faculty member in a social work school we need to have awareness of the profession we are preparing students to engage in. in the united states they accredit schools that often professional social work degr s degrees. >> oops. i killed my mic. where do these ethics come from?
they come from the members. it is in creating the educational policy in early 2000s. so our standards for accreditation also watch social work values and ethics. our accreditation policy in the united states parallels the similar to the other policies that exist around the globe. in fact other schools and other countries are much more explicit i will say a little bit about some of backlash this has recei receiv received -- they found for the most part approve of this
mission and endorse this focus of our educational programs. but we have received and have been the target of those outside the profession. it described itself in the network of scholars and citizens united for academic freedom and excellence in higher education. they engaged on a report called the scandal social work education as work to exclude those who did not share the political believes of the social work field and to in fact in many ways torment and marginalize people who were not working for social -- who were not working for social justice as defined in a particular way. they also at that time, this is almost ten years ago, filed a complaint with the secretary of the department of health and
human services asking the schools of social work no longer be required to be accredited by the council on social work education because of their objection to our accreditation standards. the n.a.s. was not successful in bring down social education. hhs found no basis for their complaint, which stated that we were violating students' first amendment rights. and as expected of course our national organizations responded by providing a context for our ethical sxejsal standards and framed our use of the concept of social justice. for example? rather conservative institutions of higher learning such as baylor and brigham young have accredited social work programs. so clearly there's a range in which schools of social work are interpreting and offering courses that immediate accreditation standards. these kinds of atax atacks and critiques directed toward social
work programs and perhaps other professional programs which have similar kinds of values will only become more common in the near and perhaps distant future. i just want to say one more thing regarding the need -- what social work schools and social work programs can offer higher education in terms of teaching this kind of conduct and teaching what may be a conflict between diversity and academic freedom. we've been doing this kind of work for decades, for quite a long time. we struggle with it. we haven't arrived. we may never arrive. this is an ongoing lifelong activity. but we do have skills. we have programs. we have evidence-based educational practices, and we have a lot of experience of -- for thinking of ways to create what we call brave spaces and contrast with safe spaces in our classrooms to develop ways to
call people in who may be expressing different views rather than calling them out and shaming them in the classroom. to recognize what larry schulman refers to as the hidden group in the classroom and the group dynamics that can create very difficult and challenging discussions. and also the differing needs for faculty support and training that can exist within a faculty so that all of us can be helpful in terms of meeting both the goals of diversity and academic freedom. thank you. [ applause ] >> so now in the interest of time i'm going to transition into our questions. and i think we have -- okay. so this is an abbreviated version of what i'm going to read to all of you as the first question. so academic freedom extends to
students, as many articulated in their comments, and to its practice in the classroom. last summer following a student-led petition the task force for radical transformation a faculty-led committee specifically called for instructors to enhance their abilities to facilitate robust and critical discussion of top ecks such as social justice, oppression, disenfranchisement, white privilege and a host of other concepts and ideas that bring emotionally charged conversations into the classroom. reflective of the very hallmark of the university of chicago's brand of free exchange and ideas, students are calling not only for free exchange but deep dives into open and authentic dialogue that help to foster their own abilities to engage out in the world as effective agents of change. they are often looking to their frofrss to model this critical engagement. students across the united states have also called for similar improvements in their educational training and
classroom experience. how should universities balance a student's desire and in the case of ssa and elsewhere their demand for this educational experience against the right of a faculty to teach to their own expertise? and then of course i have to have subquestions. also, which is why it's here and in your seats. what actions can or should institutions take if any to ensure members of the community have the capacity to facilitate and meaningfully engage in sometimes highly contentious and deeply personal dialogue on issues that are tied to diversity and equality and privilege, subject matters that are typically not the substantive or theoretical areas of expertise for most faculty. and any of the four of you can have at it. >> this was not on our sheet, by the way. >> it's the first one. >> oh, not the whole thing. okay.
just the last part of the question. you know, i guess i've heard versions of this question posed. i find it puzzling to think that there are faculty in schools of social work who have not thought about these things. some people may have thought about them, they aren't quite sure how to articulate them. some people have thought about them and they're not sure how to teach them. some people have thought about them and maybe they're just not very good facilitators of difficult discussions because many of us are not. so there are a lot of reasons why someone may not engage in these discussions in their classrooms. but i would suspect that when you think of a bell curve most of the people in the bell curve of a faculty in the school of social work would have considered these things, are doing research related to issues
such as health disparities, educational -- problems with educational opportunity, workplace, stress issues, all of which are things that relate to this. and i think then the question is how can faculty perhaps develop more of the skills and perspectives for feeling comfortable engaging in difficult discussions with others. so i think it's often less a question of what people know and care about and what they are passionate about and more a question of how can we offer faculty supportive growth experiences and environments to think about how to dell deal with the concerns students are bringing to the class. when i think of the faculty at my old school, there's a range of people who are good at leading these discussions but i can't think of one person who doesn't care about issues of diversity, equity or inclusion.
>> i mean, i think faculty members have a high degree of academic freedom in deciding how to approach the education process. i think there are limits to that obviously. you can't decide to teach a course and not have it meet unless there's a good reason educationally for that. and there are boundaries on what courses you teach and so on but i think for the most part there's a strong presumption in favor of faculty freedom to decide how best to deal with students and how best to deal with particular subjects. at the same time i think it's the responsibility of the institution tone sure that faculty are doing their jobs well and are teaching effectively and to offer guidance and help to encourage th that. but i think to insist upon these things for individual faculty
members. if someone is being a lousy teacher then the institution has an obligation to intervene. but i think the right way of dealing with this is by saying to faculty you'll be better at your job by doing these, whatever these things happen to be. >> one of the things that's come up for us at yale is that we really have been having this conversation with the foundational values of a liberal arts education. is this not working? can you hear me now? did i turn it off? >> the other thing. >> free speech is being suppressed. okay. i think that one of the things that's come up for us on our campus is just the idea that a liberal arts education has to be an anti-racist education. that's a foundational value. so that would permeate, you know, across disciplines. i think one of the things you
said is what can the institution actually do? i think we need to think critically about the ways in which we organize knowledge and the ways in which we assign prestige and resources to certain things, faculty lines. i wrote an op-ed in the "washington post" after the crisis at yale basically saying this is not about free speech, my -- anti-racist activists, student activists at yale are not -- i understand that this is not a conflict with free speech. and i got a lot of hate mail. and one of the things someone wrote me was look at your -- it's just like -- i think part of it is this notion that the
kinds of work we do is not serious, not intellectual not rigorous if we talk about racial inequality, sexism or homophobia. this goes back to what i didn't get to say in my remarks. but in 1991 there was this really interesting -- by a conservative thinker. oh, god, who was it? i don't remember now. but he basically makes his argument. george will wrote in "newsweek" that lynne cheney has equally as important a job as dick tchenny. she's the secretary of domestic defense. less dangerous in the long run. the domestic forces that she must deal with at the n.e.h. and basically he goes on to talk about scholars and student radicals and these other people imposing group politics on curricular issues on campuses. so in the '90s that was -- it was really conceived of as this problem along curriculum. and now it's this issue of
trigger warnings and safe spaces and -- so i think in some ways the conversation has not changed that much. it's sort of are we allowed to teach what we want to teach? yes, we're allowed to teach what we want to teach but we also have to address the larger issues. students are asking us to address a wider set of concerns and questions. how is that in opposition to free speech? that should be expanding our conversation. we shouldn't be constrained by that. that's an exciting direction we're moving in. >> jeff and i both lived through the reform to our curriculum. woodrow wilson says it's easier november move a graveyard than reform a curriculum. he was right. never do it again. i think the -- i've always thought that -- i'm not familiar with the specific issues
preoccupying the community in the ssa. but it seems to me if one is dealing with a subject like racism or nationalism or ethnic discrimination or the holocaust or whatever, these large and big issues that are spread across the 19th or 20th centuries and that a scholar who is competent and hopefully more than competent should be able to take out of the diversity of scholarly views -- because in all of these issues you're going to have a number of different powerful diversions in the scholarly realm, and fashion a curriculum or a syllabus or a way of conducting the class in which a couple of things happen. first of all, students become aware of the diversity of opinions about these controversial issues but also learn how to manage the formulation, how to come to
their own view, doesn't let us spoon-feed people, whatever -- wherever one is coming from and wants the students to have their own viewpoints and intellectual personalities. and that has to come as much from the students it seems to me as from the teachers. how does one use the construction of a syllabus and the ways in which one can present different viewpoints to get the students to take ownership and come to their own view and not my view or his view or her view or her view? every scholar ought to be able to do that. that's really part of what we do, part of the job description of being a professor it seems to me. one has to go back to what are we doing in graduate school now in terms of how are we preparing people to be scholars? >> that's another panel. >> we are having another panel.
>> and how are we mentoring or nurturing -- you can pick your word about it. young faculty. we have a core curriculum like columbia. and we regularly ask young people -- they seem young to me. young faculty. i still remember having a clinical psychologist as part of our curriculum we teach freud. and saying nobody reads freud anymore, like that's -- excuse me while i kind of teach freud. i can teach freud, you can teach freud. and the look on -- it seems to me there's a process of -- i don't want to use the word training but mentoring. but ultimately jeff is right. they're there. they're their own person. and once they get tenure lord help us because that's also subject for another debate.
>> can i just say something else? first of all, i teach freud. and i'm not so old. but i would also say that the notion that like no one's teaching any of the classes anymore. this was the idea in the '90s. a young woman from harvard wrote an essay that was published that was before the age of virality. she said i went to four years of harvard and never read a book by a single black author or black woman author. but there was this idea that at harvard nobody's reading shakespeare and everybody's reading audrey lord, it's all about lesbians 24/7. and that was the idea. with you it was so far from the truth. and that's exactly what people think now. and this notion of how do we balance the canon that we're inheriting with the new stuff the kids are asking for? well, god, hasn't that always been the question? that's sort of like moving through time. we always have to adjust our syllabi. i don't know. i think the specific anxieties around this being like -- to
satisfy the student demand because they're students of color as opposed to -- you know what my problem is? it's not about not teaching freud. my problem is getting them to buy a course pack because they want to read everything on a screen even though they don't have very good memory retention when they read from screens. this is my issue. i can convince them to read freud. i just can't convince them to buy paper. framing everything in terms of the curricular problems being around racial diversity or a new demographic of students is actually i think missing the point. i think what i'm complaining about is actually probably much more pervasive anxiety that professors have across campuses. >> thank you. i will squeeze in one last question. i think we have maybe a moment for that. so as an alum of 1967 who was referenced in this year's aims of education talk by professor stone, echl imphasized that the
university has a responsibility to create communities -- a responsibility to create a community of people as well as a community of ideas in which everyone feels a sense of belonging. what are the contemporary challenges, responsibilities and opportunities for universities as institutions that create a sense of community and belonging, that engages all of its members and what is the role of academic freedom in fostering this? and then my subquestion. how might the prevailing practice of institutional neutrality on political and social issues as an important context for academic freedom but practiced as silence contribute to a campus climate and sense of belonging for different members differently within our community? >> i'll take a stap at this. there's two things i would say to this question. the first is this idea of the safe space which i think is completely misunderstood. how i understand it is that simply the classroom needs to be a civil space. so for example -- i teach a lot
about islam and u.s.-middle east relations. so i actually get students from a very diverse political perspective coming in the classroom. and i've never had a problem. that's never been a problem for me. but what i do say at the beginning of the semester is that when we have discussions we need to be -- there are? parameters of the kinds of discussions you can have in this space. this is not your facebook post. so i don't want to hear about cheeto jesus or whether you -- what you think of the quality of hillary clinton's voice. you want to say something about the presidential candidates that are running for office, it needs to be something of intellectual substance, not about what they look like or, you know, these kinds -- that's not a smart comment for a student to say in the seminar because that isn't what we're talking about. but those are the kinds of things that i think you direct the discussion as a professor and keep it civil. people know they aren't allowed to make any old comment. that's what i think of as a safe space. the other understanding of it is it's a place where minority
students or people who feel that they're not -- minority students can sort of gather and have these resources on campus. i don't think people object to that. the notion that, you know -- the other thing i just want to say about this is this idea of the gotcha culture, you that know, everybody's afraid to speak because if they say the wrong thing like oh gotcha as a bigot. part of this is the ways in which we talk about racism or classism or homophobia or whatever is that it's an individual defect. i think in this particular political moment if we aren't able to talk about structural racism, homophobia, misogyny as larger phenomena, then that's a huge failing for us as professors. i think that's part of it for me, is constantly redirecting it to let's think about this is not individual features as a personality if somebody says the wrong thing that that's what we're trying to look for, we're trying to think about these things as macro systems. >> this is a little off the
point but one of the issues that we have to confront as we go forward is the impact of social media on open discussion. it used to be the case that you could have a conversation in a classroom or in a dorm or among colleagues in which you said things that were provocative and it could be about i think abortion is murder or i think abortion is good. doesn't matter what it was. you can have a conversation. you knew some of the people in the room didn't like it. but you'd argue about it and then it would go away. and with social media what's happened is that we all become vulnerable to those conversations being out there forever and accessible by graduate schools and by employers and by dates, potential dates i should say. and i think that has really serious potential to undermine the willingness of individuals
both here and throughout society to speak openly and to challenge things and to talk candidly. and that worries me a lot about its impact upon the academic community more generally. i don't know what the answer to that is because i think it's a reality. but i think it's something we have to begin thinking about. >> the image of the universities as cities. i've always thought of them more as towns because cities are places of anonymity whereas most universities, at least i think good residentially based universities are collectivities that are more like towns where it's have hard to be anonymous and therefore this notion of engendering community, it has to happen in the classroom, it has to happen many other places as well. we found, for example, chicago was very late in coming to
foreign study programs. there was a view 20 years ago that if you made it to chicago you made it to the world's greatest university and why would you want to be in hyde park when you could possibly learn in paris or beijing or south africa or any place else. we found we have a very broad and very rich and with the ivy plus group the largest group of foreign students. you talk to them it's not simply that they make new friends and people of very different backgrounds, ethnic, racial, religious, and so forth, encountering different cultures. it's not just that but it's also the fact that they're taken out of one known environment and put in a totally foreign and different environment. in some ways what we need, especially with educating young people, is to engender and strengthen these communities. but the work is never over. you can't just do it with freshmen and say it's done for four years. it's like the population of a town, they come and they go. it's like a stream going
forward. but i think this work of community is very important but it can't all be put in the classroom. a lot of it has to be done beyond the classroom. >> and in her remarks it actually goes on to say that the city is made up of neighborho s neighborhoods. so students are mostly experiencing the neighborhood. however that might be defined. that they are interacting with, engaging within the larger city of the large complex research university, which is what she was talking about. and i think that's where students often find their community and these larger spaces are places where maybe there's a complication or graduation but their major interaction with the institution often is in these smaller neighborhoods rather than the larger system. and i think -- yeah, thinking about the hidden curriculum, the implicit curriculum, the
co-curricular and the curricular, these are all things whether you're talking about graduate students or undergraduate students, these are all components of how they're experiencing the institutions in which we work. >> thank you. now i'm going to transition us to the informal part of our evening. i'm going to invite you to dialogue together. so as moderator i am not going to wrap this up in a nice bow, and i'm going to leave us with more hopefully questions to want to engage each other. so we invite you to dialogue with each other around these issues, ask questions, share your reflections, say out loud ideas that are half baked or that you're still struggling to fully form. simply ask another person what still stands out to them in what a panelist said. what are you left wanting to talk more about? part of practicing free expression i think is listening carefully to what another person is saying buff form your own response. it also means being humble and open. this is hard to practice.
or maybe i'm just speaking about myself. and allowing your response and even your own ideas to be shaped by what another person has just said to you. practicing this interpersonal attunement is a critical component to our abilities as a community to authentically dialogue about issues and topics that matter deeply to each of us personally, not just professionally. i look forward to joining the panelists as we step from the safe place of our platform up here and separation from you, which also provides a little bit of distance and now become co-participants in a dialogue. we also hope you enjoy the refreshments. so please. [ applause ]
representative jim banks spoke to c-span for a house freshman profile interview recently. the indiana congressman is a former state senator and navy veteran who served in afghanistan. he said national security and veterans' issues are two areas he'd like to focus on in his first term, representing indiana's 3rd congressi