The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Journal of Free Speech Law: "Different Strokes for Different Folks: Academic Freedom, Civility,
and Educational Diversity Among Private Colleges and Universities," by Prof. James Weinstein (Arizona State).
Just published as the final article in the "Non-Governmental Restrictions on Free Speech" symposium; here's the Abstract (the article is here):
Does academic freedom require institutions of higher learning, both public and private, to apply the First Amendment rules applicable to public forums to analogous places on campus, as several prominent commentators contend? On this view, to avoid violating academic freedom, every college and university in the United States must allow highly uncivil speech in these areas, such as "Fuck War!" or "God Hates Fags."
This Article argues that such an interpretation of the dictates of academic freedom would seriously undermine the diversity of educational experiences available to students, a feature of American higher education long recognized as one of its great strengths. The Article contends that a policy maintaining basic civility norms in campus open spaces, including in free speech areas, doesn't violate academic freedom if implemented by viewpoint-neutral rules enforced in an educationally-oriented, ideologically evenhanded manner.