White House executive order prods colleges at free speech, program-level data & risk sharing #Free_SpeechMarch 22, 2019
President Trump on Thursday signed a much-hyped executive order tackling campus free speech and college transparency.
The executive order essentially directs federal agencies to ensure colleges are following requirements already in place.
And it requires the department to submit policy recommendations to the White House by January 2020 on risk-sharing proposals for colleges that participate in the federal student loan program.
President Trump has weighed in repeatedly on alleged suppression of free speech on campuses, especially speech by conservative students.
Research universities and other public colleges promote free speech and academic freedom as part of their mission, the groups have argued.
And Congress, not the president, controls appropriations to colleges and universities.
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said the executive order is unnecessary.
“As institutions of higher learning, public universities are constantly working to identify new ways to educate students on the importance of free expression, provide venues for free speech and advance our world through free academic inquiry.
He urged the administration to consult with higher ed institutions as it carried out the order.
“We haven’t seen what the agencies plan to do.
“Public universities are already bound by the First Amendment and work each day to defend and honor it. The commitment to free speech, the vigorous exchange of ideas and academic freedom go to the very core of what public universities are all about. It is inherent to their very identity,” he said in a statement. “As institutions of higher learning, public universities are constantly working to identify new ways to e…