From the Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Freedom of speech is the essential foundation for a democratic society. It is also a requirement for a functioning university. Freedom of expression is particularly protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for public entities such as universities.
Disturbingly, a number of groups have noted serious problems regarding freedom of speech at the University of Washington. Groups both inside and outside the institution.
The Report of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)
FIRE is a highly respected non-partisan group dedicated to protecting freedom of speech at U.S. colleges and universities. Recently, it released a detailed report on freedom of speech at over 200 American colleges/universities, based on input from tens of thousands of students and faculty, as well as the review of materials from each institution.
The University of Washington was the lowest-rated of any public university in the nation.
Let me repeat: the UW was at the bottom of a long list of major public universities/colleges regarding freedom of speech. In fact, the UW was rated as “code red” for “clearly and substantially restricting freedom of speech.”
Several hundred UW students were queried and most were fearful to speak their minds in public. For example, only 43% of students say they have rarely or never self-censored on campus. In other words, 57% are self-censoring.
FIRE noted that UW’s Executive Order 31 allows the university “to discipline or take appropriate corrective action for any conduct that is deemed unacceptable or inappropriate, regardless of whether the conduct rises to the level of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation”. Totally chilling and potentially illegal.
UW Students Organize For Freedom of Speech: Huskies for Liberty
The situation at the UW has gotten sufficiently serious that a large group of students has organized a new, nonpartisan student group to defend freedom of expression at the UW: Huskies for Liberty.
I attended one of their meetings a month ago and the stories I heard were disturbing.
For example, one young woman described unfortunate behavior by a faculty member after the student expressed an unpopular viewpoint in class. The faculty member even called out the student by name on social media and encouraged other students to make formal complaints. Shameful and outrageous.
The Huskies for Liberty group tried to post flyers around campus advertising their meetings, but those opposed to free speech tore many of them down (see below). Others had “editorial” comments marked on them that I cannot repeat on this blog.
The American Association of University Professors
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was born out of the attacks on academic freedom, including the loyalty oaths and communist purging during the cold war period. Unfortunately, AAUP has “evolved” during recent years to become a promotional organization for “progressive values.” Their commitment to freedom of speech and diversity of ideas has waned.
For example, the UW AAUP website states: “where legally permissible speech shows potential to harm individuals or undermine the fundamental purposes of the academy, UW AAUP will advocate for resources that prevent or mitigate harm” Unfortunately, they have followed through on this approach, restricting freedom of speech of individuals with differing viewpoints.
For example, the AAUP has a popular listserv to which thousands of UW faculty and administrators subscribe. This moderated listserv is dominated by “progressive” viewpoints, with AAUP moderators frequently rejecting messages that differ from the AAUP moderators’ viewpoints. I could supply dozens of examples of such censorship.
Here is an explanation by the current head of UW AAUP on why the listserv needs to be moderated (i.e., censored)
“The reason this list requires moderation is precisely so that it may function as an open forum for faculty to address and debate their issues and concerns. ”
Censoring to foster an open forum? The Brave New World of the UW AAUP.
And a moderator of the AAUP list stated the following after rejecting a contribution with a different viewpoint:
“Our concerns remain about giving so much air time to those who seem to be hostile to the university’s attempts to amplify diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
So much for freedom of speech and diversity of viewpoint on the UW AAUP listserv.
The UW DEI Establishment
One of the most worrisome changes at the UW has been the establishment of a huge Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion infrastructure encompassing over 100 “diversity” deans, administrators, staff, and advisers.
The cost of this establishment is huge: from my analysis, it costs at least 5 million dollars a year in State funds. Students and their parents are paying for this. So is every state resident.
The UW DEI establishment advocates a highly politicized agenda, including pushing faculty to acknowledge that they work on stolen land, advocating for “equity” (equal outcomes for all demographic groups), preferences/affirmative action for a limited collection of favored demographic groups, and guidance on the use of pronouns and wording, to name only a few.
The UW community is told not to use words such as “whitebox, whitelist, master, dumb terminal, and “sanity check.”
Some DEI staff have monitored the social media of professors, encouraging public criticism and attacks on faculty with “problematic” viewpoints. (more on this later!)
To ensure that incoming faculty support the politicized UW DEI viewpoint, applications from prospective faculty must include a DEI statement that notes their experience in fostering DEI and their future plans to push a DEI agenda.
To put it frankly, a political litmus test. And it is just as inappropriate as the loyalty oaths of the 1950s.
Last year, there was an attempt to require that current UW faculty provide a statement supporting DEI for promotion (e.g., tenure). This proposal was narrowly defeated by a vote of the faculty.
The essential fact is that the hugely expensive UW DEI bureaucracy is pushing a very narrow vision of diversity, favoring only a handful of special groups. In many ways, it is anti-diversity, rejecting the unique diversity of every human being, and assuming that all of us are characterized by our race, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation.
Attacking Faculty for Possessing Differing Viewpoints on Social Media or in Class
A key requirement for a functioning university is that students and faculty should be exposed to a range of viewpoints. Differing viewpoints that are discussed and analyzed in the search for truth.
Unfortunately, several UW faculty and staff have been attacked for alternate viewpoints. Let me give you some examples.
Consider, Professor Stuart Reges, a faculty member in computer sciences and the winner of several teaching awards. Professor Reges was concerned by the pressure to include a Native American land acknowledgment in the class material, and, in protest, came up with an alternative version that was not to the UW’s liking. He was threatened and hectored by administrators and told he faced investigation and potential punishment. Startlingly, his department set up a parallel section of his introductory class and then encouraged students to transfer out of his section.
Professor Reges has taken legal action against the UW and has a very good chance of winning.
Professor Stuart Reges
Or consider Research Meteorologist Mark Albright, former Washington State Climatologist, who noted in 2007 on a listserv outside the UW that Washington State snowpack was not declining rapidly (we now know he was correct). At that time, he was the Associate State climatologist, and was FIRED from his position at the UW, because it might encourage “climate skeptics.” Mr. Albright was a staff member in my group at the time, and I was pressured to fire him or take away his email privileges (which I did not do).
Finally, let me mention one of my own experiences. In 2016, I was a strong supporter of a non-partisan initiative for a state carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use, with the funds returned to state citizens (I-732). Several climate activist groups opposed it because they wanted the cash. Two years later, they proposed I-1632, this time for a carbon tax in which they controlled the money to spend on their pet projects.
I wrote a blog opposing their poorly conceived approach. My department chair (a strong supporter of the initiative) and the College of the Environment Dean then encouraged the College’s Dean of Diversity to write an email sent to my entire department noting the racist nature of my blog. They were trying to suppress speech even OUTSIDE the UW. Even worst, my department chair then invited the department to a “shaming session”, where he and department activists called me all kinds of names. A member of my faculty grew up in China: she said it was exactly like the cultural revolution.
The UW should not be like this
I have other examples of UW’s attempts to suppress freedom of expression, but the above will suffice for now.
UW Faculty Fight Back
A growing group of faculty, from many departments and varied political viewpoints, is fighting back against the attempts to constrain speech and viewpoint diversity on the UW campus. Many are members of the national, non-partisan group known as the Heterodox Academy (HxA), started by well-known social scientist Jonathan Haidt. The UW HxA group has a very active listserv, local meetings, and a book discussion group. It helped organize the successful effort against mandatory DEI statements for advancement. If you are a UW faculty member, please join us (just join the national group or let me know).
A University in Fear Cannot Function
The UW has become highly politicized and there have been active attempts by UW administrators, some faculty, and a number of students to suppress viewpoints they don’t like.
A university cannot function when freedom of speech is suppressed and students/faculty are afraid to express their viewpoints.
And let’s be clear: many UW community members are afraid to frankly reveal and discuss their viewpoints on a range of topics.
Dozens of faculty and students have told me of their fears; even some members of the UW HxA group want to keep their association with HxA secret, fearful that their positions could be threatened.
The tools of fear are two-fold: (1) fear of being criticized, attacked, or threatened for their views and (2) fear of being denied tenure, advancement, good grades, or academic opportunities. The combination is powerful.
The University of Washington is one of the leading universities in the world. We can be proud of that. But it will not retain this lofty position if freedom of expression continues to be undermined.
It is time for the leadership of the UW to make a clear commitment to free expression.
It is time to drop all political litmus tests, such as mandatory DEI statements.
It is time for the huge, expensive, and problematic UW DEI bureaucracy to be dismantled. Instead, the UW should treat each student and potential faculty/staff member as a valued, unique individual and not a representative of some group or special interest.
It is time to follow the law, both in letter and spirit.
Federal law REQUIRES that public institutions protect freedom of speech. And the Washington State Civil Rights Act, enacted by the voters through Initiative 200 in November 1998, specifically prohibits racial and gender preferences by state and local government.
It is time for the UW to act upon the words of UW President Ana Mari Cauce:
“Speech by people we strenuously disagree with, and that is, in fact, hateful and repugnant, is the price we pay for democracy and to ensure our own freedom of speech. When we give the government the power to become the arbiter of what views are acceptable, then we have taken a step toward authoritarianism.”
“Universities are by their very nature places for discussion and debate of controversial issues. These debates are absolutely critical to the educational experience and in developing citizens prepared to engage with democracy.”
Whether you are a student, parent, staff member, faculty, donor, or state citizen, make your wishes known, both to the university and the Washington State legislature.
Australian universities won’t be far behind this level of facism … UQ comes to mind with its attack on Drew Pavlou. UQ collaborated with CCP in attack on freedom fighter student – MacroBusiness
Could Australian universities learn something from the old country?
“The United Nations is in the grip of woke hysteria. For clear evidence of this, look no further than a recent statement by a group of UN-appointed experts on the state of race relations in the UK. These experts claim that black Britons are ‘living in fear’, due to structural, institutional and systemic racism.
The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which contains experts appointed by the UN’s Human Rights Council, visited the UK last week for a ‘fact-finding mission’. On the final day of the visit, Dominique Day, one of the members of the working group, claimed that she had ‘never visited a country before’ where there is such a ‘culture of fear pervading black communities’.”
All they have to do is believe…
They’re well ahead.
Preamble: (skip if you like) Maybe you’ve gathered but because of the TIA stroke I had 20 yrs ago, I became interested in ‘health’ and all things surrounding it.
Especially reason was that, lying on a hospital bed unable to even roll myself over, that I’d led a sheltered life (livestock farmers have no choice – apart from ‘weather shelter’) and Big If I came out the other side, I should do some ‘exploring’
I started with ‘England’ in the first instance but it became an exploration of ‘self’ and of other people.
Just wow, They are sooooo amazing, I never knew.
Esp= what happened to me, how I changed that fateful day and because it was rather frightening thing, how to avoid a recurrence.
(Most stroke victims do recur and die within 3 years)
End preamble: I found myself at ‘FutureLearn’ taking an online course: One all about food. diet and health with some emphasis on mental health: delivered by Monash University
They knew how to get me going by suggesting that ‘alcohol’ (in moderation of course) was Good For You
My explorations, easily 17 years in, had conclusively led me to know that it is The Most Hideous Poison Ever. For every reason under the sun.
In comments/discussion I told a very condensed version of what I said here and ventured to disagree. That alcohol was not ‘healthy’ and that ‘self moderation’ of that stuff is simply an impossible thing
Without a word they deleted my entire Futurelearn account
Thanks Australia, I love you too but I can understand how living in a desert ‘does your head in’ and that what you use to help you cope, does even more damage.
That’s ’empathy’ but they were looking for, in the comments section, fawning, gullibility and blind obedience.
The human animal can not lie.
I love the comment on the sign calling the free speech advocates “fascists”. Incredible lack of self-awareness.
A better scrambling of the letters…DIE. More accurate, actually.
Exactly what I call it. DIE! A death culture.
In my higher education administration job, I was forced by my supervisor and HR director to sign up for DIE training on LinkedIn Learning for no apparent reason. (Never having received any complaints except recently from my DIE-trained supervisor in my career of over 40 years). After getting some brotherly counsel on how to respond, I went ahead and did the course, knowing that it would not affect my outlook. Basically, the theme of the course is simply “be kind.” It shouldn’t take 8 agonizing sessions to say that.
A few takeaways:
Excellent analysis! Get ready for the blowback, it will be huge. This state government sucks big time.
Mario Savio is turning over in his grave.
The Italian cultural marxist Gramsci would be proud.
Disturbing. I wonder if they might revoke my PhD for being a “climate skeptic”?
The problem, however, has been many years in the making.
Back in the last century, the Professor assigned the task of instructing new Chemistry grad students in the art of being a teaching assistant recounted to us that some students had complained about being discriminated against. The reason? That not automatically giving them high grades was badly influencing their academic and job prospects. Yes, it’s true.
Once upon a time if you missed an exam you had to have a medical certificate etc to prove you couldn’t take it at the time.
Now? The first question is when would be convenient….
Once again, begging the question of on what academic qualification did those students actually enter the UW? With their attitude of “gimmeee” without earning grades, it was probably the affirmative action group who questioned the grading system.
That’s not “begging the question”, which is a logical fallacy. That’s “raising the question”. Entirely different thing.
“Professor Reges has taken legal action against the UW and has a very good chance of winning.”
Probably as good as Dr. Peter Ridd had.
In the 1980’s I was the designated interviewer for summer assistants in mineral exploration for CONOCO Minerals, and the University of Washington was a favorite stop. The Geology Department had an Economic geology Professor, Dr. Eric Cheney, that was a stellar example of telling it like it is, and some of his comments to myself and his students (he would drop into the interviews from time-to-time) were light-years outside the current censor culture at U Dub. What a Brave (Dysfunctional) New World.
“Freedom of speech is the essential foundation for a democratic society”
They aren’t interested in democracy, they’re neo-feudalists: do as you’re told…
Yeah cut the ‘happy talk’ crap and listen up extremists-
“What has to change is that we have to mature a little bit, and we have to stop doing wishful thinking,” he said. “A real discussion is that these are the constraints in the development of resources in the world, both material resources and charging infrastructure and renewable power… If that is true, how do we reduce the total amount of carbon dioxide that will accumulate? That is a mature discussion, not a kind of dream discussion.”
Toyota makes very good cars.
It looks like they have a common-sense boss who is not afraid to tell it like it is.
Any discussion of EV vehicles is based upon that there is a proven “climate crisis” due to a global warming via the use of fossil fuels producing too much CO2. A warmer planet is not a problem and is evidenced by the abundance of plant and animal life in the warmer areas.
The sooner the climate cult is debunked, the better off life will be for all. Get back to utilizing the energy resources available and quit with the dream of “sustainable” energy sources via wind and solar.
I invite all the climate nutjobs to divest of all their fossil fuel sourced items in their lives to prove their dedication to their cause. Including the clothes on their backs and their homes.
Good luck with that challenge being taken up.
“In 2016, I was a strong supporter of a non-partisan initiative for a state carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use, with the funds returned to state citizens (I-732).” Cliff Mass
I can’t take people seriously who favored a carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use in 2016. They know too little about climate science and the great benefits of CO2 enrichment: Better C3 plant growth and moderating the climate, mainly for colder nations, mainly in the colder months of the year. And women wear fewer clothes to beat the heat.
On the other hand, it’s hard to believe that such a leftist biased belief as Cliff Mass had in 2016, would be criticized for not being leftist enough. It seems like that University of Washington was already a lost cause in 2016. It was not really a university, it was a leftist indoctrination center.
List of 24 recommended climate science and energy articles I read this morning, and 24 more articles on other subjects that I read this morning.
Honest Climate Science and Energy
Cliff thinks CO2 is a problem.
I don’t know why.
That’s why I don’t read his blog
I also don’t read Judith Curry articles, for the same reason
But she does have some good authors on her blog, by other authors, such as The Planning Engineer.
Probably due to willful ignorance. There are plenty of studies which show there is no “climate crisis” outside of the computer “modeling” used by most of the climate cult to beat the rest of us over the head with.
If you outright “deny CO2” there will be lots of potential followers that you won’t be able to present your rational thoughts to, due to their preconceptions….better for readers to come to their own realization of the extent (or not) of the problem.
I wouldn’t put it like that. It’s not “denying CO2” to say there is no evidence that CO2 is doing the things climate change alarmists claim it is doing to the Earth’s atmosphere. And that would be a correct statement because alarmists have no such evidence. Evidence for CO2 exists. Evidence that CO2 is causing the Earth’s climate to change does not exist.
Cliff puts WAY too much faith in climate models. Around 2016 he removed my comment listing the major reasons why models aren’t valid for making policy decisions like carbon taxes. I stopped posting on his blog after that. Hopefully he is not being a hypocrite and still censoring..
Removed your comment, huh.
I also can’t figure it out. He constantly debunks the alarmist nonsense, about wildfires, hurricanes, snowpack, etc, but still thinks “something needs to be done.”
You’re free to say that (freedom of speech and all that). However, I’m also free to say that what you posted is downright sexist and rather creepy.
Why didn’t you say, “Men and women wear fewer clothes in the heat”? If you were making a point about having to wear fewer clothes makes life easier and less expensive, then I agree. However, I don’t think that was what you were driving at, was it?
Men already wear fewer clothes in the heat. It is women who insist on modesty.
From the article: “The essential fact is that the hugely expensive UW DEI bureaucracy is pushing a very narrow vision of diversity, favoring only a handful of special groups. In many ways, it is anti-diversity, rejecting the unique diversity of every human being, and assuming that all of us are characterized by our race, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation.”
That says it all. DEI is anti-diversity and it’s racist. It fosters division, not unity.
Of course, that’s just what the radicals want. They want to divide us one from another, in a “Divide and Conquer” attempt at gaining political power.
And CRT is Critical RACIST Theory
It reinforces to joke from a few years age … ‘The opposite of diversity is University.’
Universities are too far gone and just need to be defunded. New universities needs to be formed by actual free thinkers, funded by some rich but sane interests, and poach all the best students and researchers. Top universities won’t be top in a few decades.
Hillsdale college in Michigan — libertarian, like me
‘Great free newsletter — Ive been reading it since 1973
Imprimis | A Publication of Hillsdale College
Been reading it for decades myself. Hillsdale describes itself as a small Christian College. Character, Faith, Freedom.
” …… not to use such words as ……. master …..”
Both my sons have post graduate Master’s degrees. I am a Master Mariner. The person in charge of a ship is the Master, irrespective of gender, although they have the courtesy title of Captain. Several of the members of my Rotary Club are Masters of their trades – Master Plumber, Master Carpenter, etc.
Wokery gone mad.
People who have meltdowns over perfectly legitimate words need to stop being slaves to their emotions so they can master their immaturity and whip their emotional problems.
I used to fly the Airbus A300. When you manually bring the throttles to idle the flight mode annunciator changes to show the word RETARD. The manuals say things like “retard the throttles.” Somehow we all managed to hold context and not lose our minds because the French made their planes with a forbidden word.
i guess I am no longer a Master Mason.
The idea of mastery is contrary to the culture of victimhood the left has embraced as a way to keep people dependent. Self mastery requires personal responsibility which would eliminate that dependency. Serfdom is what they are shooting for.
“Mastery” certainly flies in the face of “Equity”!
I think their objection to the word “master” is that it implies there are slaves to the master. Incredibly stupid, but I think that’s their “reasoning”.
Their “reasoning” is to find objectionable speech to be offended by to preserve their myopic world view about systemic racism. A closed loop of circular reasoning maintains the culture of victimization which ignores personal responsibility.
Understanding freedom of speech requires some nuance, as it can be a two edged sword. US residents enjoy freedom of speech in public, but there are private associations where no such freedom extends. Employers are expressly allowed to hire or fire at will employees even based solely upon their speech. Private universities can admit or kick out students for their speech.
Public universities cannot punish their matriculated students for their speech, as it appears that UW is now doing. However, public universities are also employers with at least some ability to discriminate and punish their employees for their speech, subject to state and Federal employment law requirements.
We have an interesting situation here in Florida where Governor DeSantis, an extremely popular guy here and considered a major candidate for GOP nomination for President in 2024, is asking the Florida Legislature to get rid of university speech codes and diversity training and student admission and employment required diversity rules. Naturally the left is up in arms about this, even though the Legislature has not even convened yet. Expect that to be a major campaign issue in 2024 if DeSantis is the GOP nominee. The State of Florida certainly has the right to prohibit such things without violating free speech, but the libs are labeling this an attack on first amendment rights.
DeSantis is already catching fire from the libs for rejecting a proposed curriculum for an African American Studies advanced placement course for high schools, on the basis that the curriculum favors “critical race theory”, teaches the dogma of the “1619 project”, and such. His position is that free speech rights do not extend to efforts to indoctrinate school students into specific ideologies.
This is going to be a huge issue, I believe, for years to come, as conservatives fight with liberals over the meaning of “freedom of speech”, and no doubt a series of cases are likely to end up at SCOTUS, where the current conservative majority is not going to be real sympathetic to the use of the first amendment to ideologically indoctrinate students, or to control what they can and cannot say at public universities.
The 1st Amendment is simple to understand, as is the 2nd Amendment. To bend and twist the words is the only way the left can change that understanding.
I may not like what someone says about anything, but I will defend their right to say it. Using the 2nd to defend the 1st. As intended by the founders of this nation.
I applaud FL and the efforts of Gov. DeSantis to insert the tenets of the Constitution back into the educational morass. Wish more state governments would follow his example.
In continued defense of DeSantis’ controversial moves, I would suggest that “speaking” [one’s opinion] is different than “teaching” one’s opinion. The latter is more properly termed “indoctrination” when done in K-12.
That is entirely different than introducing CRT in a law school curriculum in order to compare it to several other ways of approaching a legal issue and to generate discussion.
In K-12 the education establishment’s clearly stated objective is to mold the child’s thinking and in many instances to literally turn them into “activists”.
The U. of Washington resides in Seattle. Few cities, if any, are as far Leftist as Seattle. The rise of “Progressive” policies in Seattle have resulted in rapid increases in homelessness, drug addiction, violent crimes and property crimes. The city can’t hire police officers as quickly as they are losing officers, and the shrinking rule of law is emboldening the criminals.
As a result, Seattle is loosing people and businesses, who are simply abandoning the city and the surrounding county. The big employers, Microsoft, Amazon, etc., are laying off employees at a rapid pace. Seattle is swirling the drain…
One of the most beautiful and vibrant cities on Earth has become a 3rd world slum because of the ideological insanity Seattle voters have embraced. Clueless idiocy rules.
That says it all.
The Radical Left destroys everything it touches.
‘In 2016, I was a strong supporter of a non-partisan initiative for a state carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use, with the funds returned to state citizens (I-732). Several climate activist groups opposed it because they wanted the cash. Two years later, they proposed I-1632, this time for a carbon tax in which they controlled the money to spend on their pet projects.’
The only difference between a highway man, who admits to using stolen loot for his own benefit and the ‘State’, which says that it uses stolen loot for the benefit of others, is that the highway man is at least honest about his motives.
If the Highwayman is too successful in his theft, the State will hammer him (and take his stuff).
If the State is too successful in their theft, the Highwayman switches over and gets a State job.
Article says:”… fearful that their positions could be threatened….”
How many freedoms are they willing to give up to keep their positions? I am not sure whether I feel sorry for these people or very angry with them.
Our founders were willing, and some did, to give up their lives, fortune, and scared honor, but they worry about positions. I wouldn’t want any of them in a foxhole with me, fighting a ship board fire with me, or having my back anytime.
you can find another job you can’t find another freedom.
Actually, I would not be so sure that the people pushing DEI the hardest could in fact find comparable jobs outside academia or government. The DEI rot is widespread, but most advanced in institutions that are not accountable to customers or the public.
I note that “carbon taxes” are inherently regressive, and a partial rebate does not correct for that.
DEI has a chilling effect on free speech, equal opportunity, and actual ideological diversity. Reciting the catechism of the regulators is what is desired.
“Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the
,Like I need more reasons not to donate as an alumnus or to not get a UW vanity plate.
Nevertheless, Go Dawgs!
The football team is the only functioning department..
“Inclusiveness” only applies to those who have been ideologically brainwashed. Their insecurity at hearing differing viewpoints exposes woke fragility. Censorship is necessary because their ridiculous ideas can’t survive critical examination.
Anyone else notice the irony of the graffiti on a poster advocating Free Speech: “SHUT UP, Fascist”?
My alma mater (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) ranked third from the bottom. I’m hoping the replacement of the President in 2022 will result in an improvement in the rankings for 2023.