Donald Trump Demands Universities Comply with Free Speech Requirements to Receive Federal Grants

Protesters from Students For a Democratic Society demonstrate on the University of Utah campus against an event where right wing writer and commentator Ben Shapiro is speaking on September 27, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Campus authorities have increased security ahead of the appearance by Shapiro, a former editor-at-large …
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President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Thursday requiring universities receiving federal grants to certify that they follow free speech principles.

“The president strongly supports free speech,” a senior administration told reporters during a briefing on the upcoming order. “American institutions of higher education should support open intellectually engaging debate, which is critical to creating the next generation of successful leaders and thinkers.”

The order directs twelve federal grant-making agencies and the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that schools receiving federal research or education grants uphold the First Amendment and principles of free inquiry. The order will not apply to student aid, the official confirmed.

All universities already follow certain criteria to get federal aid, and the president’s order will include free speech on campus as one of the requirements.

“Agencies will enforce the order how they are already enforcing grant conditions,” the official said, who confirmed that the new requirements would take several weeks to implement.

The president will sign his executive order on free speech on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

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