Reader reactions: ‘Faculty free speech under siege’

Readers react to a column by Tyler Laferriere discussing WSU’s Aug. 31 disavowal of Professor Robert Wielgus’s comments to the Seattle Times about the lethal removal of the Profanity Peak wolf pack. Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at WSU, had argued against the removal. Laferriere argues that WSU’s disavowal creates an implicitly hostile academic environment and may hinder faculty from offering public commentary in the future.

Read the full column here

Rhiannon Mae Inman: “It’s ridiculous that they are killing those wolves because someone cannot properly contain and protect their livestock. That is a part of your responsibilities as a livestock owner.”

Marilyn Washabaugh: “Apples to oranges. The guy made incorrect statements to the press. The university had every right to disavow his comments.”

Sean Alexander: “What is and isn’t incorrect is completely arbitrary in this context. Two separate viewpoints. I would tend to favor the wolf specialist tracking these wolves to make the most correct statement. …”

Alaina Nelson: “Wielgus made false claims about an individual which were printed in The Seattle Times. His affiliation with WSU was printed along with it to show him as an ‘expert’ on the subject, even though his particular claims about this individual rancher were completely untrue – which put WSU in a very (expletive) position, where they could potentially be considered liable for libel against the rancher. WSU would have been remiss in not correcting him. …”

Joel Jones: “… The real question is, when the (expletive) are the students, faculty, staff and the community at large going to actually protest this accelerating trend? … Free speech is essentially an illusion at this point.”

Editor’s note: The comments used in reader reactions are selected from public responses to stories on The Daily Evergreen’s Facebook page. The names listed with the comments are those provided as the individual’s identity on Facebook.