Radio Times

Debate on college campuses

May 12, 2014

Guests: Rudolph Bell, Greg Lukianoff

It is approaching the time of year when colleges across the country honor the achievements of their students and formally send them out into the world.  But, more recently, commencement ceremonies have become a source of contention.  Just days ago, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pulled out of delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  It followed weeks of protest from students and faculty, decrying Secretary Rice’s role in the Iraq War.  It was not an isolated incident.  Philadelphia’s Haverford College is facing a row over its choice of graduation speaker, Robert Birgeneau, the former Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.  Haverford students are riled about Birgeneau’s handling of campus protests at Berkeley in 2011.   And last year, Swarthmore College ran into problems over its selection of speaker.  We talk to RUDOLPH BELL, Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University, who led the protest against Rutgers’ invitation to Condoleezza Rice.  We also analyze whether free speech and debate at universities risks being stifled, with GREG LUKIANOFF, President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.

 

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