At Trinity Conference, Academic Freedom Fiercely Defended

Posted in Governance and administration on September 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Funny, polite and fiercely unapologetic, Steven Salaita raged in defence of academic freedom and against the actions of Israel in Palestine in a much-hyped talk in Trinity this evening. The talk, which discussed the topic ‘Freedom to Boycott: Boycott, Divest, Sanctions and the Modern University’, centered around issues of freedom of speech in academia through the lense of Salaita’s experiences …” (more)

[Eleanor O’Mahony, University Times, 11 September]

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Trinity to hold conference on freedom of speech on the academic boycott of Israel

Posted in Governance and administration on September 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College will hold a conference on the Freedom of Speech and Higher Education: The case of the Academic boycott of Israel this Monday and Tuesday. The conference will take place in the Synge and Robert Emmet lecture theatres. The conference will be interdisciplinary, and will include law, the arts, social science and humanities. It will involve academics from Ireland and abroad with practical experience of the issues around freedom in higher education …” (more)

[Sarah Meehan, Trinity News, 10 September]

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Trinity to Host Conference on Academic Free Speech and Israel-Palestine Conflict

Posted in Governance and administration on May 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A conference on free speech and the Israel-Palestine conflict will be held in Trinity this September. The once-peripheral issue has dominated recent discussion in College after the cancelled visit of the Israeli ambassador, which was branded an ‘unacceptable attack on free speech’ …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 4 May]

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Free speech under threat on our college campuses

Posted in Governance and administration on April 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Robust debate, challenging ideas, dissenting opinion and free speech. These are the central tenets of campus life – helping young people to broaden their minds, question their own world view and develop the resilience necessary for the real world. But on modern campuses, these values are under grave threat of being cast aside …” (more)

[Larissa Nolan, Irish Times, 18 April]


Call for Papers – Freedom of speech and Higher Education: The case of the academic boycott of Israel

Posted in Research on April 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Academic freedom includes the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfil their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction …” (more)

[Academics for Palestine, 6 April]

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Oh no, not again – another heckler’s veto in Trinity

Posted in Governance and administration on February 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“… I don’t have time to write a considered post about this right now, but I could not let it pass unremarked, so I will content myself for the time being with noting: oh no, not again.” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell,, 21 February]

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Academic freedom demands academic balance

Posted in Governance and administration on January 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Mike Jennings (January 26th), general secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers, has come out strongly against University College Cork’s decision to indefinitely postpone – on safety and security grounds – the proposed March conference, ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism’ …” (more)

[Kevin McCarthy, Irish Times, 27 January]

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Case Law: R (Ben-Dor) v The University of Southampton: Censorship or justified Concern?

Posted in Legal issues on May 29th, 2016 by steve

UK“In the case of R (Ben-Dor & Ors) v The University of Southampton [2016] EWHC 953 (Admin)) Mrs Justice Whipple dismissed one claim for judicial review, and refused permission to bring a further claim, in respect of decisions made by Southampton University regarding a proposed conference on the legality of the existence of Israel under international law … ” (more)

[Dominic Keene, Inforrm’s Blog, 29 May]

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The rise of the illiberal university?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 24th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“In 1982 the German-American historian Konrad Jarausch published a fascinating book (Students, Society and Politics in Imperial Germany: the Rise of Academic Illiberalism) in which he charted the rush of Wilhelmine universities and academics into sentimental nationalism and xenophobic intolerance …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 23 May]

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A dangerous censorship takes hold on campus

Posted in Governance and administration on May 1st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A very unhealthy censorship of freedom of expression on university campuses is spreading like a contagion across the UK, imported from the US, and is now starting to affect Ireland. The overall idea is to protect students from exposure to ideas and arguments they might find disturbing …” (more)

[William Reville, Irish Times, 1 May]


Edinburgh University at the heart of the battle over freedom on speech on campus

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on January 24th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“Across Britain, in a great many of our universities, a battle is taking place over free speech. Every month brings some new revelation of a university or students union where something has been censored or someone has been ‘no platformed’ – the term for banning speakers …” (more)

[Vicky Allan, Herald Scotland, 24 January]

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I want my university to debate ideas, not gag free speech

Posted in Governance and administration on January 20th, 2016 by steve

UK“Yes, campuses should respect people’s rights, be they transgender, Muslim or gay. But students don’t need swaddling from the wider world …” (more)

[Jackie Ashley, Guardian, 20 January]


Free speech should reign on campus

Posted in Governance and administration on January 19th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Recently the media has focused on events in British and American universities in which students appear to be hostile to freedom of speech. It might surprise some to know that unfavourable views towards freedom of speech are quite popular in university campuses in Ireland too …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 19 January]


Universities and freedom of speech: one more time

Posted in Governance and administration on January 19th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“For the second year running, the website spiked has published a particular university league table for the UK, providing ‘a detailed, annual insight into the state of free speech, debate and expression in the British academy’. It presents universities in three categories …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 18 February]

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Allow extremists to speak at universities, says Oxford head

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on January 17th, 2016 by steve

UK“Extremist groups should not be banned from speaking at British universities because students need to think about challenging ‘objectionable’ ideas, Oxford University’s first female vice-chancellor has said. Prof Louise Richardson told the Daily Telegraph …” (more)

[Guardian, 16 January]

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Universities in Britain and the US Are Losing Their Moral Compass

Posted in Governance and administration on November 13th, 2015 by steve

UK“Just as you thought the moral cowardice and intellectual duplicity of our trendy university atmosphere couldn’t get any worse, one of London’s largest universities reminds us that we are indeed living in a tempestuous age …” (more)

[Maajid Nawaz, The Daily Beast, 12 November]

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Why free speech is integral to the intellectual life of our universities

Posted in Governance and administration on September 20th, 2015 by steve

UK“Government plans to police campus extremism will turn students into spies, rather than critical thinkers. Give or take some slippage at the top, the latest world university league table has UK institutions still ranking high, with 30 out of the top 200 …” (more)

[Catherine Bennett, Guardian, 20 September]

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What to Do When the Outrage Is Aimed at Your Campus

Posted in Governance and administration on September 9th, 2015 by steve

USA“The email arrived two days after a gunman killed a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard. A reporter at Campus Reform, a conservative website, was asking the University of Kansas for reaction to a tweet by one of its professors …” (more)

[Beth McMurtrie, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 September]

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QUB Charlie Hebdo event will go ahead, after all

Posted in Governance and administration on May 3rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Queen’s University Belfast has posted the following update on its Facebook page: ‘Following the completion of a comprehensive risk assessment, undertaken in line with approved protocols, the University is pleased to confirm that the Charlie Hebdo Research Symposium …'” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 3 May]

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Charlie Hebdo conference given green light after all

Posted in Governance and administration on May 1st, 2015 by steve

UK“A conference at Queen’s University Belfast on the legacy of the Charlie Hebdo murders will go ahead, the institution has announced, following the completion of a new risk assessment. The event, titled Understanding Charlie: New perspectives on contemporary citizenship and scheduled for next month, had been called off last week …” (more)

[Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education, 1 May]

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