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Welcome, Jim Dean: An opportunity for UNH

April 11. 2018 11:13PM

A new president means a chance for change at the University of New Hampshire.

President Mark Huddleston has been a capable steward in Durham, earning high marks for fundraising and building the school’s facilities. We have faulted him from time to time for loose budget practices that have allowed questionable spending.

We have also criticized him for failing to stand up for free speech on campus.

Incoming UNH President James W. Dean Jr. takes over for Huddleston on June 30. He says that diversity and inclusion will be high priorities. We hope that he means diversity of thought, as well as sex, race, and creed.

The next time the left-wing outrage mob attacks, Dean could set UNH apart by standing up for free speech on campus. He could establish UNH as a safe space to express ideas, even unpopular ones, rather than a safe space from dissenting views.

Sorority girls should be able to sing hip-hop lyrics without being investigated. Students and faculty should be able to debate freely. Liberal students should challenge conservative speakers without shouting them down, or demanding they be kicked off campus.

Dean should teach UNH students that exposure to challenging ideas is a vital part of a liberal arts education.

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