Press Releases | Freedom of Expression

Alumni for Yale’s Future Urge Their Alma Mater to Uphold Free Speech

November 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Alumni for Yale’s Future sent a letter to the Yale Corporation, urging the university to adhere to the principles of free speech and academic freedom. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni coordinated the signing and presentation of the letter on behalf of Yale’s concerned alumni.

The letter, signed by over 150 alumni from the class of 1955 through the class of 2015, voiced concerns about campus unrest at Yale and across the country. Alumni for Yale’s Future cited the C. Vann Woodward Report, a seminal document on free speech and academic freedom produced at Yale during another era of charged racial and political divisions and that is still posted on Yale’s website. The alumni group also sent the corporation a copy of Free to Teach, Free to Learn, ACTA’s guide to maintaining healthy discourse in academe. The signatories asked for a campus-wide teach-in on the principles of the Woodward Report and for the corporation to work toward creating an environment where the response to offensive speech is not the chilling of speech, but more discourse.

Yale is not the only university to have groups concerned about the infringement of free speech on campus. Just last week, Princeton’s Open Campus Coalition also sent a signed letter—signed and organized by students—to their university. They urged the president and administration not to capitulate to intimidation but to foster vigorous intellectual exchange and to protect students’ right to explore and express ideas, even when they depart from current dogma and fashion.

“Alumni play a critical role in holding their alma maters to their highest ideals,” said ACTA president Anne D. Neal.  “Alumni for Yale’s Future rightly understand that academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas are essential to any liberal education of quality.

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Molly Mitchell
Communications Director
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
202. 467. 6752 ext 107


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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