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A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the early start of a phenomenon we’ve observed at the FIRE office for years: “disinvitation season.” Disinvitation season is the annual ritual of campuses choosing speakers, often times for commencement addresses, and then facing a backlash as either students, faculty, or both demand that the speaker be disinvited. While it’s hard to say for sure, from my vantage point, disinvitation season on campus seems to be getting a little more intense each year.
Over the weekend, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a piece focusing particularly on the controversy over Condoleezza Rice speaking at Rutgers University. At the same time, a similar controversy took place involving Secretary Rice at the University of Minnesota. And my colleague, Robert Shibley, recently wrote over at National Review Online about still another incident at a college in Montana involving an evangelical Christian speaker. Furthermore, a newspaper out in Ohio just profiled the cost of such speakers and briefly discusses the controversy over Ohio State University’s invitation to Chris Matthew’s to speak.