The Latest “Threat” to Academic Freedom and Free Speech



DailyClout | 19 June 2023











The latest on my libel suit at New York University, and why the outcome matters to us all (CORRECTED)


My case is ironclad. In order to dismiss it, a lower court has set a precedent that poses a grave threat to academic freedom and free speech in the United States


by Mark Crispin Miller


Many of you know that, in the fall of 2020, most of my department colleagues tried to get me fired at NYU, by formally accusing me, in a letter to the dean, of various imaginary crimes so heinous that my academic freedom should be waved aside, my “conduct” subjected to “an expedited review” by the administration, and my horrid self then duly “disciplined” (which, given the enormity of my alleged abuses, could only mean that I should be let go ASAP, despite my tenure as a full professor, and—if I may say so—popularity among the students).


As my colleagues’ every charge was—not to put too fine a point on it—deranged, I quickly wrote a point-by-point rebuttal, sent it to the letter’s 23 signatories (in the Department of Media, Culture & Communication) and asked for an immediate retraction and apology. No answer. I followed up a week later with the same rebuttal and request, this time with a deadline (November 20th) for the latter, and again heard nothing back. So I decided that I had no choice but to sue 19 of the signatories for libel. (I’m not suing the junior faculty who signed.)