BC and the Belfast Project: A Scholar's Privilege to Disobey

The ongoing imbroglio over Boston College’s Belfast Oral History Project has been disappointing at almost every turn. The case involves a subpoena by the Northern Irish police force of confidential materials collected by Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre, two scholars who worked with BC to create an oral history of the Irish “Troubles” as told by former IRA and Loyalist members closest to the fighting. In my latest piece for my Forbes.com blog, “Injustice Department,” I discuss the grave implications for First Amendment rights resulting from the blithe willingness of Boston’s federal courts to jeopardize scholarly research in the name of dubious law enforcement claims. Furthermore, the article raises the important question of what could have been done differently to allow the scholars, like reporters whose confidential notes are being subpoenaed, to resist the disclosure of their sources through civil disobedience.

You can find the article after the jump.
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The 15th Annual Boston Phoenix Muzzle Awards, student edition

Sticks and stones might break your bones, but on college campuses in the Northeast, words can get you expelled. The Boston Phoenix gives its annual “Muzzle Awards” to the year’s worst free speech violators, with a sidebar highlighting the most egregious violators among academic institutions. The academic Muzzle Award winners this year—Boston College, Bridgewater State, and Harvard University—faced stiff competition. But, in the end, they stood out for their significant contributions to the culture of censorship now running rampant on our nation’s campuses. Click here to access Dan Kennedy’s “15th Annual Muzzle Awards” and here to access my “Muzzles on campus” sidebar. An excerpt after the jump...

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Announcing a New FIRE Book: Unlearning Liberty, Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate

FIRE President Greg Lukianoff's book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. The book will be formally released on October 23, but from now until then, we are spreading the word about the book and the important stories it tells regarding censorship on campus. Getting the message out about how bad things have become on college campuses for once-cherished principles like free speech and due process helps FIRE fight back against campus abuses, and all proceeds from the book go to FIRE to help support our work. Unlearning Liberty is the first book since The Shadow University, written by Alan Kors and me, Harvey Silverglate, to attempt a far-reaching and large-scale exposition of the insane cases of censorship and abuse of basic rights that occur at our nation's colleges and universities. 

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Harvard's PR Machine and the Cherokees

Elizabeth Warren has been taking quite a bit of flak for recent revelations that she allowed Harvard to claim her as a “minority hire” during her time at Harvard Law School . The claim struck many as dishonest: Warren appears to be Caucasian, and not a Cherokee Indian, and one would expect that she experienced very little racial discrimination as a child growing up.

But while Warren has been suffering from political jibes, most commentators have not reflected their ire at Harvard University , the institution which had initially made the dubious claim that Warren did not rebut. On MindingTheCampus.com, I argue that the absurd, indeed trivial, claim about Warren ’s ancestry makes perfect sense when one considers the nature of Harvard University today: a highly corporatized PR machine, focused more on burnishing its brand and its image as a “diverse” and “multicultural” institution, rather than on disseminating truth. The university’s role in creating the “diversity” myth surely adds a layer of irony to Harvard’s institutional – indeed, corporate – motto: VERITAS.

You can find the piece by clicking here:

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Manhattan Institute Q&A Podcast Available

On March 28, I attended a forum at the Manhattan Institute with KC Johnson where we discussed the dismal state of free speech and due process rights on America's campuses. The Institute has just posted the audio of the Q&A session that followed our talks. You can find a link to the podcasts after the jump.
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The Foundation 
for Individual Rights in Education
a nonprofit organization
whose mission is to oppose censorship 
and maintain freedom 
at American colleges and universities,
created in 1999 
by Harvey and Alan C. Kors

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