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University walks back anti-‘American’ speech policy to counter public outrage

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University walks back anti-‘American’ speech policy to counter public outrage

08.04.15 09:26 AM

The president of a northeastern university slammed on social media for its controversial, politically correct speech guidelines has intervened, saying the university will continue to defend all free speech.

Mark Huddleston, president of the University of New Hampshire, ordered last week that the UNH ‘Bias-Free Language Guide’ be removed from the university’s website. The Guide, you may recall, drew massive criticism from the general public for advising students and faculty against using what its author(s) deemed potentially offensive or alienating language: words like “American,” “homosexual” and “foreigners.”

In attempting to dampen the controversy, Huddleston also released a statement distancing the university’s official stance from that of the Guide’s author(s), and assuring potential UNH students and parents — as well as all critics — that the university’s official stance is to affirm the free speech rights of all.
July 29, 2015

“While individuals on our campus have every right to express themselves, I want to make it absolutely clear that the views expressed in this guide are NOT the policy of the University of New Hampshire. I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use of the term ‘American’ is misplaced or offensive. The only UNH policy on speech is that it is free and unfettered on our campuses. It is ironic that what was probably a well-meaning effort to be ‘sensitive’ proves offensive to many people, myself included.”

— UNH President Mark W. Huddleston

The university also released a statement explaining administrators’ rationale in taking down the Bias-Free Language Guide:
July 30, 2015

University of New Hampshire Statement

The associate vice president for community, equity and diversity removed the webpage this morning after a meeting with President Huddleston. The president fully supports efforts to encourage inclusivity and diversity on our campuses. He does not believe the guide was in any way helpful in achieving those goals. Speech guides or codes have no place at any American university.

President Huddleston has ordered a review of UNH’s web posting policies in the weeks ahead. He was surprised and unhappy to learn that the university does not have practices that make clear which web pages include UNH policies and which pages include content that reflects the opinions of some members of our community.

The university has more than 1 million web pages on its site; university administration was not aware of the “language guide” until this week.

The Web link that originally pointed to the Guide now directs users to the UNH Office of Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence Initiatives, which features a general ‘Statement of Diversity’ declaration on the landing page.

The post University walks back anti-‘American’ speech policy to counter public outrage appeared first on Personal Liberty®.

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