The core academic functions of discovery, debate and diversity are essential to the existence of a free democratic society. Training individuals in the skills of critical inquiry and the practice of reasoned debate require freedom to follow the path of reason and evidence wherever it may lead. Inevitably this produces questions that may discomfit, offend, or challenge prevailing views, conventions, or sources of authority. Government and society must protect this core function by recognizing the principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Colleges and universities must use that freedom and autonomy in the service of the widest public good.