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Friday, March 24, 2023

More Stanford

Stanford's DEI Dean Tirien Steinbach (currently on leave) has responded to Judge Kyle Duncan with her own oped in the Wall Street Journal, titled "Diversity and Free Speech Can Coexist at Stanford."

Here are some key passages:

Some protesters heckled the judge and peppered him with questions and comments. Judge Duncan answered in turn. Regardless of where you stand politically, none of this heated exchange was helpful for civil discourse or productive dialogue.

[T]he administration and I welcomed Judge Duncan to speak while supporting the right of students to protest within the bounds of university policy.

I stepped up to the podium to deploy the de-escalation techniques in which I have been trained, which include getting the parties to look past conflict and see each other as people. My intention wasn’t to confront Judge Duncan or the protesters but to give voice to the students so that they could stop shouting and engage in respectful dialogue. I wanted Judge Duncan to understand why some students were protesting his presence on campus and for the students to understand why it was important that the judge be not only allowed but welcomed to speak.

This explanation will be persuasive only to those who have not listened to the full audio recording of the event or watched the video of Steinbach scolding Duncan and expressing her approval to the hecklers of "what is going on here." To put it as plainly as possible, it was not Steinbach's job to get Duncan to understand the protesters (which was a pointless undertaking in any case, given what we all know about Duncan). It was her job to enforce Stanford's policy against disruptions so that the Federalist Society members could hear their guest.

The WSJ essay is here. It is paywalled, but most universities have subscriptions.


Posted by Steve Lubet on March 24, 2023 at 07:31 AM | Permalink


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