We are all familiar with the maladies that have affected higher education over the past few years: budget cuts, enroll- ment declines, bad press, etc. But was there anything that made things particularly worse in 2017? Plenty.
The bad news started with reports of increasing censorship and intimidation exercised upon college newspapers. We saw it happening on the campuses of Mt. Saint Mary’s University in Maryland, Northern Michigan University and Wesleyan University in Connecticut. The University of Kentucky’s campus newspaper was sued by the university, and at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, three staff members on “The Justice,” the student newspaper, were notified that they would be called to a univer- sity meeting, the first step in a disciplinary process, because the newspaper had audiotaped a public rally in 2015 at which students criticized the university’s handling of sexual assault cases.