LIEBERWITZ | Cornell University Has an Obligation to Protect Academic Freedom in Extramural Speech

There are many areas of social, economic and political controversies that faculty may address in exercising their academic freedom, but perhaps none so controversial as those dealing with Israel and Palestine. The University administration should stand up for faculty who exercise their academic freedom, even in the face of pressure from legislators, trustees, donors, students or alumni to sanction faculty for their speech.

SCHECHTER | Tough Love

The three best speeches I’ve ever heard have been given by presidents: former President George W. Bush’s 2021 address at SMU; former President Barack Obama’s keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention; and Martha Pollack’s 2023 convocation address.

I have seen twelve-years’ worth of boys-schools’ convocations, which left me with limited expectations on the Sunday after O-Week. As President Pollack began her speech, though, comfortable behind her wooden Cornell University podium, I knew she was confident in her message. As her speech unfolded, I felt myself filled with hope. Hope for my future here. Hope for my classmates’ futures. Hope for the future of the school. And hope in knowing through all of Cornell’s rigid toughness, my classmates and I will make it through.