Photo: “Common Sense with Bari Weiss” / Substack

University of Austin: Respite from liberal censorship or conservative safe space?

November 8, 2021

~ 4 minutes read

Former St. John’s College President Pano Kanelos announced the launch of the University of Austin (UATX) — a private, non-profit “liberal arts university committed to freedom of inquiry, freedom of conscience, and civil discourse” — on Bari Weiss’ Substack publication Common Sense Monday morning.

The university has begun the process of seeking accreditation, and plans to offer a Masters program in fall of 2022 before launching their undergraduate program in the fall of 2024. UATX will offer programming for college students from other universities this summer.

What else is each side focusing on?
  •  UATX is unaccredited and offers no degrees or value to its students.
  • The university will create a learning environment where people feel free to speak their mind.
The Narrative

With no accreditation and vague language about defying cancel culture, this university is a transparent attempt to profit from a non-issue.

The people who founded it complain about being cancelled and silenced, and yet have a massive platform to speak from. This won’t be a haven for freedom of thought, but a conservative echo-chamber for offensive views.

The founders of this university are right — students and professors are afraid they will be punished for speaking their mind.

A university that aims to seek truth — rather than indoctrinate students with the left’s narratives — will be a distinct improvement upon the current culture in academia.

How could a reasonable person come to think this?

To the left, the fact that universities are no longer tolerating the expression of offensive views in the classroom is an improvement. Universities aren’t silencing conservative voices — they are protecting students from hate while challenging longstanding, problematic norms in academia.

To the right, many universities have begun stifling open conversation in the name of protecting minority groups and encouraging progress. This strategy of censorship hinders social progress because it keeps researchers and students from seeking truth through open and honest discussions.

What else is the left focusing on?

  • UATX is unaccredited and offers no degrees or value to its students.

The narrative: With no accreditation and vague language about defying cancel culture, this university is a transparent attempt to profit from a non-issue.

The people who founded it complain about being cancelled and silenced, and yet have a massive platform to speak from. This won’t be a haven for freedom of thought, but a conservative echo-chamber for offensive views.


How could a reasonable person come to think this?

To the left, the fact that universities are no longer tolerating the expression of offensive views in the classroom is an improvement. Universities aren’t silencing conservative voices — they are protecting students from hate while challenging longstanding, problematic norms in academia.

What else is the right focusing on?

  • The university will create a learning environment where people feel free to speak their mind.

The narrative: The founders of this university are right — students and professors are afraid they will be punished for speaking their mind.

A university that aims to seek truth — rather than indoctrinate students with the left’s narratives — will be a distinct improvement upon the current culture in academia.

 

How could a reasonable person come to think this?

To the right, many universities have begun stifling open conversation in the name of protecting minority groups and encouraging progress. This strategy of censorship hinders social progress because it keeps researchers and students from seeking truth through open and honest discussions.

Core question: What’s the line between censorship and discouraging people from sharing or holding offensive views? Has this line been crossed in academia or elsewhere?

 

What do you think? Do you agree with one side, or do you fall somewhere in between? Give us feedback on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, or by emailing info@narrativesproject.com.