President Donald Trump’s proposal to issue an executive order that would cut federal funding to colleges that practice censorship is becoming a cause of concern among various education groups.
Last week, fourteen different organizations across the country came together to condemn the order. The groups termed the proposed move as a “dangerous solution” to a problem that is largely “nonexistent.”
“American colleges and universities are far from perfect, but with few exceptions, they welcome a greater diversity of viewpoints and opinions than just about any other institution in society,” the groups said in a joint statement.
“Even if the current political environment poses significant problems for free speech, the view that the free exchange of ideas no longer occurs on campuses is grossly exaggerated.”
Last week, University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer also spoke out against Trump’s plans, claiming that they could make things worse for colleges by restricting the environments in which intellectual discourse and challenge can occur.
In their joint statement, the groups said they also fear that the promised order could restrict free expression and interfere with the autonomy of postsecondary institutions.
The current signatories include, American Association of University Professors, American Federation of Teachers, Association of American Colleges & Universities, Association of University Presses, Authors Guild, Defending Rights & Dissent Foundation, Dramatists Guild of America, Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, League of United Latin American Citizens Young Adult Council, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, People for the American Way and UnKoch My Campus.