Freedom of Open Day Speech

Writing about web page

This lecturer in LSE gave an talk
to prospective students and instead of following the “official” outline
given by the University, he spoke his personal views and now is facing
disciplinary action because he blogged about it. They have banned his
blog and unless he shuts it down and apologises, they are going to do
something about it/him.

The Open Day Speech in question.

The resulting furore about freedom of speech/ academic freedom: link

In fact according to Friday’s THES he is resigning over the issue.

2 Responses to “Freedom of Open Day Speech”
  1. John Dale says:

    He and I exchanged some email about this. He asked:–

    have been very interested in the lively blog culture at Warwick. You
    seem to be doing everything right! Congratulations! But I also have a
    question: is there an official set of rules regarding what staff
    members can and cannot say at Warwick? In particular are there any
    kinds of rules on what staff members can and cannot say about their own
    university? Warwick is about 10 years ahead of the LSE in this respect. Good job!

    And I replied:–

    There are indeed rules, and they apply equally to students and staff. You can see them here and, more descriptively, here.
    I wouldn’t say that we have rules which are specifically about what
    people can and can’t say about the university. Indeed our blogs
    frequently contain robust criticism of aspects of the institution and
    broadly we welcome that; understanding our staff and students’
    concerns, doubts and worries about the institution is important to us,
    as is the idea that we are not afraid of criticism, as is the idea that
    we support freedom of speech. The only particular concern we sometimes
    have is when criticism becomes abuse. It’s one thing to say that you
    disagree with the university’s policy on X, and we’re fine with that,
    but it’s another thing to say that whoever is responsible for X is an
    idiot or some other, stronger term of abuse. We’re fine with criticism,
    but not abuse.

    Erik then said:–

    Just fyi: your words in the email to me are being quoted around campus
    like it was French revolutionary propaganda from 1789. See pdf.

    which is the first and I would expect the last time that anybody has
    compared any of my words to French revolutionary propaganda. Still,
    it’s a nice thought.

  2. Erik says:

    hi both, Erik here. Interesting differences between Warwich and LSE, no? Why are you so generous and self–confident and the LSE
    so repressive and nervous? What I said was mild stuff after all. What
    everyone already knows. Can I seek intellectual refuge in Warwick? you
    seem so cool.

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