While we’ve been busy paying attention to the election, the battle for free speech on our University Campuses has continued on, with individual legislators seeking more information from the South Dakota Board of Regents on how they intend to live up to their acknowledgement that “there needs to be more aggressive policies regarding free speech and expression.”
In a recent response to State Senator Jim Stalzer, and State Representative Sue Peterson who had posed additional questions to the governing body of our State’s board of higher education, the Board of Regents laid out to the legislators how they intend to follow up on the issue:
In response to the question asking Regents to “explain in detail how the BOR will aggressively pursue the promotion of intellectual diversity on South Dakota campuses,” I distinctly get the impression that they aren’t taking the question as seriously as intended:
The presidents of our institutions are charged with providing academic leadership and promoting academic excellence at their institutions and formulating educational policies and academic standards consistent with BOR policy. It is through BOR policy and the BOR’s employment and oversight of the presidents of our institutions that it ensures and promotes a commitment to intellectual diversity on our campuses.
It might be just me, but it sounds like they’re going to do what they’ve always done on it. Ignore the issue until someone presses it. But, given our new Governor’s statements on the matter, I don’t think ignoring it is an option:
Given the rising level of censorship and the concerning limits placed on student’s exposure to differing perspectives, it’s important the legislature act to permanently protect intellectual diversity on taxpayer-funded campuses. Free speech in these places is not optional. It is a constitutional right students are entitled to.
We’ll see if the BOR is singing the same tune in front of the legislature in January.