Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dispute at Yale Unlocks Free Speech Debate

From Inside Higher Ed: Several dozen Yale University faculty members on Monday issued an open letter defending the right of free speech, and offering support for Erika and Nicholas Christakis, whom some students want ousted from their positions leading a residential college. The statement is a reflection of frustration of some faculty members at Yale and elsewhere that the current round of campus protests on racial issues -- while raising important and valid issues -- has also included stances that they view as counter to principles of free speech. They argue that the campus protest movement's response to an email on Halloween costumes sent by Erika Christakis, associate master of a residential college at Yale, is one of those stances...

That set off calls for her to be dismissed, with many saying she belittled the pain felt by minority students when their backgrounds are stereotyped or mocked. Further, in an incident that captured widespread attention, Nicholas Christakis, master of the college and a professor at Yale, was screamed at (with an expletive) when he tried to engage students in discussion about the issue. Some students have called for him to be removed as college master as well...

It is unclear to what extent the letter will shift debate at Yale. On social media Monday night some were praising it. Others were noting that a disproportionate share of those signing the letter are in the physical and biological sciences, disciplines that tend to skew a bit less to the left than does the typical college professor...

Full story at

The letter is at

It was different at Yale, back in the day:

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