FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2019
CONTACT: Logan Elizabeth Padgett
JMI Applauds Governor Ron DeSantis for Promoting Free Speech on College Campuses
Statement by The James Madison Institute President and CEO, Dr. J. Robert McClure
Tallahassee- Today, Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference to announce the support and commitment of the State University System of Florida for freedom of speech and expression on our university campuses. Florida is the first state to have its entire state university system endorse the “Chicago Statement” of free speech produced by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago.
“Our college campuses should empower and enable one another to speak and listen, rather than interfere with or silence the open expression of ideas. Last year, JMI issued a report that examines how well today’s universities protect free speech, promote a campus culture open to different viewpoints, and respond to speech-bullying by those seeking to drown out viewpoints they oppose. JMI commended the Florida Legislature when they passed a bill to end all free speech zones on college campuses later in the year. A central purpose for an institution of higher education is to offer a learning environment where differing ideas, opinions, and philosophies, new and old, can be carefully debated and critically evaluated. We are pleased that Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s twelve public universities support and encourage full and open discourse and the robust exchange of ideas and perspectives on our college campuses.”