Private universities, growing inequality chilling free speech in the US: McLaughlin

July 11, 2019

“The major problem with U.S. colleges is not far-leftism but excessive private privilege,” writes McMaster University Professor Neil McLaughlin. The author reflects on a recent incident in the US, in which Oberlin College was ordered to pay $25M in a defamation lawsuit after college administrators supported student protests directed at a local bakery over an alleged incident of racial profiling. While right-wing populists have claimed a legal victory over a student body and administration supposedly driven by far-left ideology, the author notes that the root cause of the incident was a group of administrators more interested in collecting high tuition fees than exposing students to politically diverse views. It is the quest for profits in an increasingly unequal education system, and not any left-wing ideology, that drives incidents like the one at Oberlin, McLaughlin concludes. Vancouver Sun (National)