AUSTIN—The Texas Public Policy Foundation commends President Trump’s executive order which protects the freedom of speech on college campuses by tying First Amendment protections to federal funding.

Tom Lindsay, Ph.D., director of the Center for Innovation in Education, who attended the signing ceremony for the executive order, made the following statement:

“President Trump’s executive order regarding free speech on college campuses is a solid first step toward restoring colleges and universities to their original mission—guarding free inquiry and the free exchange of ideas. The executive order will tie federal funds to real, measurable reforms that ensure that colleges and universities allow and protect the free expression of beliefs and ideas.

“The health of any democracy depends on justice, rights and freedom—properly defined. Colleges and universities should be teaching students to subordinate their passion to reason, to listen to ideas they might find uncomfortable, and to engage with the society they live in—not beat it into their own image.

“Political winds change, and disagreement will always be with us. Every new generation will have a new take on the big questions of the day. But freedom is fundamental. It’s what allows us to consider those questions, rationally, peacefully and constructively.

“President Trump’s order merely reinforces this principle. Colleges and universities should welcome it as a reaffirmation of their core mission.”

Similar bills relating to the protection of expressive activities at public institutions of higher education have been filed during the 86th Legislative Session in Texas. Senate Bill 18 was advanced from the Senate 31-0. House Bill 3395 has been referred to the House Committee on Higher Education.