Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on President Trump’s Executive Order on Free Speech
March 21, 2019

“Academic freedom is essential to the work of colleges and universities, and free speech is at the heart of academic freedom. Unfettered discourse is an integral part of the ability of institutions to spur rigorous intellectual inquiry and challenge students. 

We continue to believe that this Executive Order is unnecessary and unwelcome, a solution in search of a problem. In addition, it is not clear what happens next. Executive Orders are not self-implementing. What remains to be seen is the process the administration develops to flesh out these requirements and the extent to which it is willing to consult with the communities most affected—especially research universities.

No matter how this order is implemented, it is neither needed nor desirable, and could lead to unwanted federal micromanagement of the cutting-edge research that is critical to our nation’s continued vitality and global leadership. To minimize the order's ill effects, we urge the Trump administration to consult with a diverse set of stakeholders and take a wide range of views into account before implementing its provisions.”

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