In 2021, more universities should adopt the Chicago Principles of Free Expression—especially here in North Carolina. The Chicago Principles go beyond merely legal protection for free speech. They demonstrate a university’s commitment to the importance of free and open inquiry, robust debate, and unfettered freedom of thought to the university’s mission of preserving, discovering, and transmitting knowledge.
The statement reads, in part:
Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.
This should be a bedrock principle at all institutions of higher learning, because without this commitment true academic freedom and discovery are impossible.
The Chicago Principles are needed now more than ever—to push back against the cancel culture, bias response teams, and self-censorship that plague university campuses. The Chicago Principles are a first step to real renewal at our colleges and universities.