Pod and Man at Yale

DEI and the Yale Presidential Search; Robert George on 40 Years of Campus Illiberalism

February 06, 2024 Buckley Institute Season 1 Episode 10
Pod and Man at Yale
DEI and the Yale Presidential Search; Robert George on 40 Years of Campus Illiberalism
Show Notes

The newest episode of Pod and Man at Yale, the Buckley Institute’s official podcast, is now available. Ariane de Gennaro ’25 and Will Wang ’26 join the podcast to share their thoughts on the presidential search, the impact of the resignation of Harvard President Claudine Gay, and how Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is defining the search for Yale’s next leader:

  •  Ariane de Gennaro: “I think it’s in some ways the silver lining [of Gay’s resignation] is that we’ve seen what happens when you don’t consider merit as the fundamentally most important quality for people in these positions.”  
  • Will Wang: “I think everyone on principle believes in free speech. In practice, when there’s a speech that offends you terribly, then, that’s when you toe that line. But no one comes out and says, ‘I don’t believe in free speech.’” 
  • De Gennaro: “I think it would actually be good to lay down some values that we’re going to align with.”
  • Wang: “Yale has been in a bunch of free speech scandals and they may perceive it as, ‘if we defend free speech writ large, we may be giving some credence to some of these scandals and us not doing anything about it.’” 
  • De Gennaro: “Free speech, for some reason, is more of a trigger issue, especially in the universities, I think, that people associate with the right, in a way that the mainstream, leftist side of the university is really uncomfortable with.” 

Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions Robert George sat down for an interview about the illiberal free speech culture on campus, his forty-year career in the middle of it, and his estimation of the current campus climate: 

  • Prof. Robert George: “The fundamental problem has been, throughout my entire career, the dearth of dissenting voices from the standard liberal secular orthodoxy on college campuses.”
  •  George: “The lack of viewpoint diversity easily creates a milieu in which dissent is not only unusual, but is interpreted as unacceptable; in fact, interpreted, even experienced, as a kind of assault on the fundamental values of ‘our community.’”
  • George: “It’s a matter of leadership. I’ll tell you another important ingredient: courage… It’s the courage of people who are willing to defy the groupthink and the conformism.”
  • George: “You see that public pressure can make a difference. That should be an encouragement.”

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