On 21 February 21, former Stanford provost John Etchemendy delivered a speech to the university’s board of trustees on the growing “intellectual” intolerance from universities across this country.
Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country—not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines—there, we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. . . .
The university is not a megaphone to amplify this or that political view, and when it does it violates a core mission. Universities must remain open forums for contentious debate, and they cannot do so while officially espousing one side of that debate.
But we must do more. We need to encourage real diversity of thought in the professoriate, and that will be even harder to achieve. It is hard for anyone to acknowledge high-quality work when that work is at odds, perhaps opposed, to one’s own deeply held beliefs. But we all need worthy opponents to challenge us in our search for truth. It is absolutely essential to the quality of our enterprise.
Read more here.