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February 6, 2020 – Education

Charles Koch Foundation Raises Concern Over Proposal to Mandate Speaker Viewpoints at Arizona Universities

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Charles Koch Foundation Raises Concern Over Proposal to Mandate Speaker Viewpoints at Arizona Universities

Charles Koch Foundation Raises Concern Over Proposal to Mandate Speaker Viewpoints at Arizona Universities

A state policymaker in Arizona is proposing requiring public universities to monitor and balance the ideological perspectives of speakers invited to campus. Raising concern over the proposal, Charles Koch Foundation Vice President of Philanthropy Charlie Ruger issued the following statement:

“An open exchange of ideas doesn’t happen through mandate. Universities need academic freedom to foster a dynamic, open intellectual environment that makes discovery possible. Efforts by legislators to place a heavy hand on everything from campus speakers to faculty composition to course content impose a political orthodoxy contrary to academic freedom.”

There is a growing and worrying partisan divide around trust in higher education that likely motivates these types of policy proposals. Advocates of higher education can look to repair these divides by speaking to the underlying concern and ensuring scholars feel free to seek the truth without fear of intimidation, threats, or undue influence from those outside of and within their institutions.

Learn more about the commitment of the Foundation and our partners to academic freedom here, here, and here.