The conservative government in Ontario, Canada, doesn’t think the province’s colleges will adopt free-speech policies on their own, so they’re ordering them to adopt policies in line with the University of Chicago’s Statement on Principles of Free Expression or lose their funding.
Universities in America, meanwhile, continue to voluntarily adopt the UChicago principles.
The latest is Arizona State University, which has boasted a “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for the past seven years (meaning its written policies don’t threaten protected speech).
FIRE said Friday that ASU is only the fourth institution – behind Purdue University, Kansas State University and Claremont McKenna College – that both earns a green light and has adopted the Chicago Statement at an institutional level.
The taxpayer-funded university’s statement adopting the Chicago principles, dated Aug. 23, gives itself a pat on the back for being the largest university in America with FIRE’s green-light approval back in 2011.
It says FIRE asked President Michael Crow earlier this year to build on its green-light rating by adopting the UChicago principles, and the university agreed that the UChicago statement is “fully consistent with ASU’s existing policies.”
After consulting with its University Academic Council, the administration formally adopted the principles with “minor edits.” (The only change appears to be removal of a reference to a UChicago president who refused to disinvite the Communist Party presidential candidate in the 1930s.)
President Crow said in a statement to FIRE: “The very purpose of a university is to facilitate the free and open exchange of ideas that lead to the creation of new knowledge, and the only way to fulfill that ideal is to create environments that support and protect the freedom of expression.”
ASU is the 45th college to adopt the Chicago Statement, according to FIRE. Slightly fewer – 42 – have earned FIRE’s green-light rating.
CORRECTION: The original article misstated the number of colleges and specific institutions that have both adopted the Chicago Statement and earned a green-light rating from FIRE. It is four, including Claremont McKenna College. The article has been fixed.