In an open letter to campus earlier this week, the University of Northern Colorado’s president, Kay Norton, addressed reports that the Bias Response Team had policed language on campus and censored professors.
Some of the Bias Response Team records, originally unearthed by Heat Street, “suggest an inappropriate effort to influence what happens in our classrooms; this is troubling and will not be repeated,” Norton wrote. “UNC is committed to the principles of academic freedom.”
But her open letter was notably short on details of what, exactly, will be changing.
Norton also wrote that “many accounts of [the Bias Response Team] dramatically mischaracterize both our process and our intentions.” Later in the letter, she said, “It is unfortunate when those at the extremes of the political spectrum attempt to portray civil interaction and community building as enemies of free speech.”
We suspect Heat Street might be among those purported “extremes of the political spectrum” that Norton is annoyed with — and admittedly, when it comes to free speech, our stance is absolute. (Readers can judge from the recording and records themselves whether the university has been squelching free speech.)
Norton told the Greeley Tribune that the Bias Response Team will undergo additional training before fall semester. Heat Street has repeatedly requested comment on how exactly the University of Northern Colorado intends to change its policies and practices to better protect free speech. Neither the university nor its president has responded to our requests.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.