Thursday, September 3, 2009

Harvard Med: No to free speech; yes to double-speak

A cross post from my health blog about free speech on campus. Many thin-skinned universities apply the concept of academic freedom very selectively.

Harvard Medical School is apparently one of them. When doctors-in-training got a copy of their updated student handbook this week, they were surprised to find this item. From the Globe story:

“All interactions between students and the media should be coordinated with the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Public Affairs. This applies to situations in which students are contacted by the media as well as instances in which students may be seeking publicity about a student-related project or program.’’

Harvard has since removed the policy from its website saying it "was being misconstrued as an infringement on freedom of speech…"


Here’s more on Harvard’s backpedal. From today’s Globe:

After some students complained, the medical school removed the policy from the online student handbook and said it did not intend to interfere with students’ speech.

“We did not back off the guideline, but took it down temporarily because it was being misconstrued as an infringement on freedom of speech – and that was never the intention,’’ Dr. Nancy Oriol, the medical school’s dean of students, said in an e-mail interview. “The next step will be to work with the students to . . . ensure there is clarity of our intent.’’

More here.

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