The Coddling of the American Mind set off a provocative debate about “happiness and wellness” on college campuses, making its way all the way up to the White House. In the The Atlantic, the authors say “A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. This new climate is slowly being institutionalized, and is affecting what can be said in the classroom, even as a basis for discussion. According to the most-basic tenets of psychology, helping people with anxiety disorders avoid the things they fear is misguided. In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.” This panel will have a robust debate about the validity of the authors’ assertions.
Moderator: Bridget Burns, Executive Director, University Innovation Alliance
Panelists/Participants: Greg Lukianoff, Author, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure; President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor and Vice Chairman, Whittle Schools, former Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Philomena (Philly) Mantella, President-Elect of Grand Valley State University, former Senior Vice President and CEO of the Lifelong Learning Network at Northeastern University; Mike Smith, former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Current; John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University