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New OSU President Calls For Diversity of Thought on Campus

Seeks an "open dialogue" between students and faculty
By The Editors
May 10, 2024
On The Record

“I want Ohio State to value diversity of thought, protect freedom of expression, and foster a welcoming environment for Ohioans from every community in the state,” the new president of The Ohio State University testified before a state senate committee this week.

OSU President Walter “Ted” Carter spoke candidly and comprehensively on a variety of hot-button issues. 

He is one of the 14 presidents of Ohio’s four-year public institutions of higher education to testify recently before the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee at the invitation of Chairman Jerry Cirino.

The purpose was to discuss the presidents’ funding requests in the Capital Budget for the upcoming budget biennium for fiscal years 2025 and 2026. But it was also an opportunity to explore a number of issues.

Click on the links below to see videos of Carter’s full remarks on the following topics.

Commitment to Free Speech

“I value and welcome free speech ... What has occurred on our campuses, including the arrest of some students, faculty, and individuals unaffiliated with Ohio State, was not about limiting free speech. It was an intentional violation of university space rules that exist so that teaching, learning, research, service, and patient care can occur without interruption.”

“Ohio State will remain a place where safety will not be compromised. We will remain focused on creating an environment which respects civility and compassion.”

DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion)

“I want Ohio State to value diversity of thought, protect freedom of expression, and foster a welcoming environment for Ohioans from every community in the state.”

Intellectual Diversity

“We're not here to tell students what to think – but how to think.” 

Faculty Diversity

“We want to have world-class faculty that do have diverse opinions but we also don't want to present theories or opinions to our students to make them seem compelled to think a certain way. We want them to have an open dialogue.”  

Also this week, Senator Cirino was interviewed on The State of Ohio Show.

Topics included:

•     Campus protests, free speech, and student safety
•     Antisemitism on campus
•     Divestment from Israel and Ohio law
•     Cirino’s Senate Bill 83, designed to ensure free speech on campus and ban most mandatory DEI training at Ohio’s public universities

Click here to see the full interview.

Here are some of Senator Cirino’s remarks:

“Demonstrations have been a part of campus life for a very long time. What’s disappointing is when these demonstrations move away from expressions of free speech, which are very allowable and ought to be, to violation of campus policies, violation of state law in some cases, or municipal laws.

 When it becomes threatening to other students, that is not the environment we’re supposed to have on campus. Everybody should feel safe to pursue their educational interests. On so many campuses today, in Ohio and outside of Ohio particularly, this is what has been happening and it is antithetical to what should be going on in higher education.”  

“When they are intimidating Jewish students on campus, we cannot countenance that.”

“We’re trying to create a positive environment for higher education. I’m a huge supporter of higher education in Ohio. We need quality education. That means we need quality professors that are not indoctrinating our students. Some of these professors, and some are at Ohio State, the Marxists professors I referred to, they seem to go after capitalism as the root of all evil.”