By now, most Phi Beta Cons readers are familiar with the issue of invited conservative speakers being shouted down on campus (and are against it). We are also familiar with the disparity of invited liberal speakers over conservatives (against that, too). But the recent controversy at Brooklyn College over an anti-Israel hatefest—a “Boycott, Divest, and Sanction” event—that was co-sponsored by the political science department raised a new problem: just how far should an academic unit (department, school, university) be able to go when inviting people to campus. Shouldn’t the invitations serve an academic purpose and encourage some sort of intellectual discourse, not just serve political ends while rejecting any dialogue?
Today’s Pope Center Clarion Call features a series of short essays on the topic by three academics (including KC Johnson of Brooklyn College) and two free speech advocates from the Foundation on Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).