I am old enough to remember when America's colleges and universities seemed to be our society's most open-minded and intellectually rigorous institutions. Today, something very much like the opposite is true: America's colleges and universities have become, and have been for some decades, the most closed-minded and intellectually dishonest institutions in our society.
It continues to astonish me that so many colleges and universities have speech codes. In my days at school--Harvard College 1962-66 and Yale Law School 1966-69--speech codes would have been considered an astonishing imposition. Now they're taken for granted as part of higher education. Not a step forward, I think.
I've received several thoughtful E-mails from academics in response. Most agreed with my take; one, from a professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., said I was exaggerating the problem.
By Michael Barone