RIT statement related to a professor’s essay on global warming

The search for truth is the animating force of a university, and it behooves those who support open and respectful discussion of controversial issues to get the facts right. Recently the views expressed by a member of our community, Professor Lawrence Torcello, have been misrepresented by some in the media. The misrepresentation follows a pattern similar to other incidents of misrepresentation involving academics that work on topics related to climate change. We encourage people to carefully read Professor Torcello’s article itself rather than rely on distortions of its contents circulating on the web.

The Institute wishes to acknowledge, with Professor Torcello, that a strong scientific consensus exists in support of anthropogenic global warming. Otherwise, RIT takes no official position on the views independently expressed by its faculty members in the course of their research. Faculty members speak for themselves, not for the institution or the institution’s leadership. The university does endorse our faculty members’ rights to free speech and recognizes our faculty’s academic freedom to express their views.

“Colleges and universities, of all organizations, must remain forums for open and respected discussion of controversial issues,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “We are part of a learning community, and much of our learning comes from each other. Respect for the opinions of others, even when we strongly disagree with them, must be a cornerstone of our campus community.”