University of Iowa president David Skorton says he’s concerned about maintaining free speech on the campus in the post-9/11 era. Skorton says some of the changes the government has had to make in the name of national security are of concern to institutions of higher education.Skorton says while tracking students from certain parts of the world, and tracking library usage are “clearly understandable in the context of national security” are “diametrically opposed to the mood and the ethos of higher education.” Skorton says the university is supposed to be a place where there’s an “open marketplace of ideas.” Skorton says the university will comply with federal regulations, but will do so in a way that keeps the openness of the campus paramount. Skorton says he’d like to extend that to the surrounding Iowa City community. Skorton says one of the beauties of the Iowa City situation is there’s little “town versus gown” conflict between the university and the community. Skorton says that’s why he believes it’s important to have free speech and openness prevail.
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