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Yale, NYU Get an ‘F’ in Academic Freedom

Jackson Diehl has written a devastating critique of some of out nation’s top universities for The Washington Post:

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng claims he is being booted from his apartment and his fellowship at New York University this month because of NYU’s kowtowing to the Chinese government. The school protests mightily, claiming that it has lavished resources on Chen and never intended for his fellowship — granted after he sought refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing — to last for more than a year.

Here’s what’s not in dispute: NYU, as part of the most ambitious international expansion program of any U.S. university, is about to open a satellite campus in Shanghai that is being heavily subsidized by the city government. Chinese authorities haven’t hesitated in the past to punish universities and blacklist professors who cross its political red lines. And NYU already has a record of appeasing the authorities in Abu Dhabi, the site of another satellite campus…

[And] take Yale-National University of Singapore, a brainchild of recently departed president Richard C. Levin. When Yale’s faculty passed a resolution last year citing the “history of a lack of respect for civil and political rights” in Singapore, Levin called it “unseemly.” But several months later the new school’s governing board adopted a policy of preventing students from creating campus branches of Singaporean political parties, engaging in partisan political campaigning, or “promoting religious strife.” It also said students will be bound by Singapore’s laws, which restrict speech and ban sodomy.

In effect, as professors Seyla Benhabib and Christopher Miller argued in the Yale Daily News, “an institution bearing Yale’s name — headed by professors and staff taken from Yale-New Haven — is in the business of restricting the rights of students…”

Read the full article here.

It is the worst kind of hypocrisy to see a radical liberal administrators of elite U.S. universities, the type who normally speak of nothing but “tolerance” and “diversity,” turn around and throw all those principles out the window in order to expand among the most corrupt, and illiberal regimes of the world. They squash the free speech writes of students on these foreign campuses and merrily pocket millions of dollars from those regimes, and, apparently, have not a moment’s hesitation.

It’s disgraceful.

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