ON-Lion Letter

The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University is teaming up with University of Wisconsin (UW) political-science professor Donald Downs to counter threats to the core mission of higher education by forces that seek to restrict ideas in order protect personal, cultural, and political agendas and sensitivities.  Helped by Downs, IHS's Academic Freedom Initiative will work with professors and students to promote intellectual tolerance and open debate on college campuses across America.

Downs is founder of the UW's Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy (WCSLD) and author of, among many other books, Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus.  He has worked for decades at UW to successfully defend the rights of professors and students who were censored or punished for expressing controversial ideas. 

"IHS has three things that can help it make a difference on this issue:  a philosophy of freedom, dedicated people, and an expansive network of faculty and students," according to Downs.

Its Academic Freedom Initiative is developing resources, including online videos, to help professors and students build a strong voice for academic freedom at the institutional, state, and regional levels.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports both IHS and WCSLD.

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