Safety, Secrecy and Security


If college campuses are to be safe spaces, the goal needs to be to make them safe for everyone—even faculty. With tenure reduced and enfeebled and secret investigations commonplace, I have seen seasoned professors tremble with fear. They feel unsafe and unsupported by administrators and staff and have seen how processes meant to protect can be turned to vendetta.

This is true, from what I hear, on almost every campus across the United States.

Two pieces on the op-ed page of The New York Times today brought this home to me this morning. The first, by journalist Judith Shulevitz, is headlined “In College and Hiding from Scary Ideas.” The second, by Delia Ephron, is called “It’s a Whole New Paranoid World.” Together, they paint at least a partial picture showing why today’s faculty feel so intimidated and act so hesitantly.

The first part of the problem stems from…

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