Faculty Group, Stanford University

January 2023
Stanford University (Private college or university)
Stanford, CA

Identity of Speakers

  • Russel Berman

    Professor of German studies and comparative literature.

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Faculty publication
    Organized outside group action
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Not Clear
  • Incident Responses:
    Faculty sanctioned
    Faculty responses (e.g., asking student to leave classroom)
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Was Speech Code incident


A group of Stanford University professors are attempting to end a system that allows students to anonymously report peers for exhibiting discrimination, stating that it threatens free speech on the campus. Professor Russel Berman wrote that it brought up concerns regarding the school’s Protected Identity Harm reporting system, which was put in place in 2021 as a way for students to report violations of the COVIS-19 protocols.

The pushback to this system started when a student reading the autobiographical manifesto of the Nazi Party Leader Adolf Hitler, was reported through the Protected Identity Harm reporting system.  The faculty group states they were unaware of these instances until a piece was released in a student newspaper.

Following this instance, the faculty group has proceeded with their pushback, stating that it is restricting the exchange of ideas on the campus.  Furthermore, they state a reporting system in such manner is creating a sense of fear around speech.