What the blame-the-liberals campaign doesn't acknowledge, let alone insist, is that if students are petulant or frightened now and if deans and professors are pandering to them, it's not because of liberal ideology but mainly because the "retail-store university" regards them increasingly as customers.
The statement, which can be adapted to all universities -- not just the University of Chicago -- guarantees "all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn." Most importantly, it makes clear that "it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive."
The article likens free speech advocates (like me, I assume) to "gun nuts," claims that campus speech codes have mostly been repealed (which is completely false), then bizarrely questions if people can believe in a diversity of belief. Those of us who are big fans of the concept of pluralism found the latter particularly mystifying.
Once you set the precedent that speech will be censored if it offends people who respond violently to that speech, you guarantee that more people will respond violently on a wider variety of issues. There is a reason why no one ever says "the best way to deal with a bully is to immediately give him everything he wants."
Schmidt, an art and animation professor, posted a picture of his young daughter wearing a T-shirt with the Game of Thrones quote, "I will take what is mine with fire & blood" to Google+. The dean found this picture of a child doing yoga so terror-inducing that she reported him to other BCC administrators.
Free speech has always been the harder road for any society. It isn't always nice and it isn't always civil, but I hope we continue to see both the value in maintaining the right to dissent, joke, and challenge as seen fit, and the real peril of trying to enforce a dreary conformity on our marketplace of ideas.