The Chilling Effect of Fear at America’s Colleges

The coddling of students’ minds has resulted in grave restrictions of free speech on campus—but academic leaders are also to blame.

No great universities exist in the world without a deep institutional commitment to academic freedom, free inquiry, and free expression. For the past 60 years, American research universities have been vigilant against external and internal attempts to limit or destroy these values. The First Amendment scholar Geoffrey Stone has noted that free expression, in one form or another, has been continually under attack on campuses for the past 100 years. Today, these core university values are being questioned again, but from a new source: the students who are being educated at them.

What explains this recent outcry against free expression on campus?

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