During the 2008 election cycle, we can expect an upsurge of incidents in which college and unive rsity administrators rescind legitimate invitations to politically controversial speakers. As Academic Freedom and Outside Speakers, a statement issued by the MU P's Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, affirms, "Because academic freedom requires the liberty to learn as well as to teach, colleges and universities should respect the prerogati ves of campus organizations to select outside speakers they wish to hear." (The statement begins on page 62 .) In the past, administrators have sometimes cited the lack of balance represented by the invitation of a college or unive rsity group or the danger that a group's invitation might violate section 501 (c) (3) of the Intern al Revenue Code as reasons for canceling or modi fy in g otherwise legitimate invitations. In Academic Freedom and Outside Speakers, Committee A expresses a concern th at overly restrictive interpretations of section 501 (c) (3) have become an excuse for preventing campus groups from inviting controversial speakers. Developments during the past two years reinforce that concern for the upcoming election season.
Mary L. Heen, The IRS and Your Politically Controversial Speakers, 93 Academe 30 (2007).