This story in IHE made me laugh out loud. Apparently, a community college in New Jersey briefly floated a policy to encourage 'civility' that was anything but. The provisions were:To read the rest, click here.
1. Honesty, integrity, and respect for all will guide my personal conduct. 2. I will embrace and celebrate differing perspectives intellectually. 3. I will build an inclusive community enriched by diversity. 4. I am willing to respect and assist those individuals who are less fortunate. 5. I promise my commitment to civic engagement and to serve the needs of the community to the best of my ability.Yes, they overshot. I'd say, comically so. (Number 2 is my favorite. “I celebrate your staggering wrongness! I embrace your breathtaking, fundamental category error!”) But there is some value to the idea of civility that apparently animated the original idea. If we understand civility as something like “the rules for participating in the organization,” then it seems reasonable to me to go beyond “I know it when I see it.” The mistake wasn't in trying to write it down; it was in absurdly overreaching.
My proposed code of civil conduct for higher ed, or speech code, if you prefer:
I will separate the speaker from the speech.