Most of the coverage of recent college demonstrations has been largely sympathetic to the demonstrators. Indeed, few sources were consulted who would speak any evil of them.
Nevertheless, our November author’s night speaker—William Barclay Allen—saw in them the culmination of a disturbing trend. “I have spent my whole life in academia and I can tell you I have witnessed the deterioration over the course of time,” Dr. Allen, a professor emeritus at Michigan State University, said in November. “It is no longer to be assumed that freedom of speech prevails on a university campus.”
“Instead, there are codes of speech.” Dr. Allen is the former chairman of the U. S. Civil Rights Commission.
“What I am suggesting to you is not that there are outliers, a few extremists who at college campuses especially in elite institutions who the rest of us can look at as perhaps, in their own way, testaments to our virtue because they are so unlike us,” Dr. Allen said. “No that is not the case.”
“What they are illustrating is what is becoming pervasive.” Nor does Dr. Allen see it as a trend exclusive to college campuses.
“It descends from campuses to police departments,” he avers. “It invades bureaucracies of every stripe.”
“It invades corporations. We invest huge sums of money in administrative budgets to seek to impose these kinds of sensitivities throughout the society.” We reproduce an extensive excerpt of Dr. Allen’s observations on academe in the December issue of AIA’s monthly Campus Report newsletter.