A Trustee for Free Speech

Jul 16, 2018 |  NAS

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A Trustee for Free Speech

Jul 16, 2018 | 


Journalist Jamie Kirchick is mounting a petition candidacy for the Yale Board of Trustees on a platform of protecting free speech, promoting viewpoint diversity, reforming the Alumni Fellow election system for Yale’s board, and reducing administrative bloat. Yale alumni who wish to support his campaign to be on the ballot may sign the Yale petition here.

Kirchick, a visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe and Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution, announced in The Wall Street Journal that he was running to protect freedom of expression at Yale:

A decade before the publication of the report bearing his name, historian C. Vann Woodward warned that “the University is in danger of sacrificing principle to expediency.” If elected trustee, I promise never to sacrifice free speech, academic excellence or the pursuit of knowledge on the altar of fashionable opinion.

Kirchick wrote that the 2015 student mob that swarmed Nicholas Christakis, then master of Yale’s Silliman College, showed him that “something had gone terribly wrong” at Yale. He was further alarmed by high faculty approval for “trigger warnings” and the growth of university administration.

Kirckick says that as a trustee, he will advocate for every incoming freshman to receive a copy of the Woodward Report on intellectual freedom. He will also urge Yale’s president and dean to issue an annual statement on free speech.

To appear on the ballot, Kirchick must gather 4,266 signatures from Yale alumni by October 1.

Yale alumni who wish to sign Kirchick’s petition may do so here. They can also read Kirchick’s platform at www.jamiefortrustee.com and see the upcoming events Kirchick will hold in major cities around the country. 


Photo: By Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung from Berlin, Deutschland - James Kirchick, CC BY-SA 2.0

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