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Academic Freedom

A Deadly Assault on Academic Freedom

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 02.28.2015 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

The recent decision of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to close the University of North Carolina Law School's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity is a blatant and dangerous instance of political interference with academic freedom.

Stanley Fish on Academic Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 02.17.2015 | College
David Moshman

Interested in academic freedom? If so, you should read Stanley Fish's new book, Versions of Academic Freedom: From Professionalism to Revolution. I hasten to add that you should disagree with much of it, and you probably will.

Civility and Free Speech in Education

David Moshman | Posted 03.23.2015 | Education
David Moshman

Charlie Hebdo could be published in the United States. But what if it were distributed in schools or assigned for students to read? Is uncivil speech protected by the First Amendment? This is a question not so easily answered. The short answer is this: In general, yes; but in education, no.

Free Speech on Campus

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 03.09.2015 | Education
Geoffrey R. Stone

Of course, the ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict. But 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.

English Teachers Adopt Statement on Academic Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 02.20.2015 | Education
David Moshman

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has adopted a new position statement on academic freedom. The statement consists of two introductory paragraphs and five principles.

Professors' Rights to Free Speech at Risk Nationwide

Susan Kruth | Posted 01.25.2015 | College
Susan Kruth

For free speech advocates, the university's decision to renege on its agreement to hire Salaita reached its nadir with Chancellor Phyllis Wise's half-baked invocation of "civility" as some kind of justification for ditching the professor.

Civility, Free Speech, and Israel

David Moshman | Posted 01.16.2015 | College
David Moshman

A recent letter provides university officials with excellent advice on free speech in connection with issues of Israel and Palestine. The bottom line is this: Political speech, regardless of its civility, is protected by the First Amendment.

Free Speech: A Happy Ending

David Moshman | Posted 12.23.2014 | Education
David Moshman

Intellectual freedom controversies don't always have happy endings. A happy ending for some may be an unhappy ending for others. But here's a case with a happy ending for everyone.

Leading Faculty Group Condemns Trigger Warnings As A 'Threat To Academic Freedom'

The Huffington Post | Tyler Kingkade | Posted 09.09.2014 | College

The American Association of University Professors, one of the nation's leading college faculty groups, announced this week it formally opposes the use...

Social Media Freedom on Campus in an Age of Marketing

Jeremy Harris Lipschultz | Posted 11.09.2014 | Media
Jeremy Harris Lipschultz

Social media campus policies frequently turn concerns of academic administrators into free speech restrictions. Even at public universities -- from the University of Kansas (KU) to Northern Illinois University (NIU) -- such policies create boundaries and a chill on the marketplace of expression.

Plugging Iran's 'Brain Drain'

Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney | Posted 11.04.2014 | World
Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney

It is no secret that Iran has a "brain drain" problem; it has been recognized by top Iranian authorities including Iran's Minister of Science and Technology Reza Faraji Dana, who noted, "Every year, about 150,000 of our elite emigrate from Iran, costing our economy $150 billion."

Academic Freedom at the University of Illinois

David Moshman | Posted 11.02.2014 | College
David Moshman

I hope there will be justice for Professor Salaita, but we must distinguish his First Amendment right to free speech from the more general question of academic freedom.

A Meditation on Violent Language: Professor's Impassioned Tweets vs The University Memo

Lennard Davis | Posted 10.30.2014 | College
Lennard Davis

Chancellor Phyllis Wise's letter to the campus was a prime example of violent language -- all the more violent because of its calm, rational, removed tone. This is the kind of bureaucratic language that has the power to do much more harm than an angry expletive posted about a war.

Salaita v. University of Illinois: The Constitutional Issues

Brian Leiter | Posted 10.27.2014 | College
Brian Leiter

Now that the University of Illinois has affirmed its illegal decision to revoke the offer of a tenured position to Prof. Steven Salaita, I want to here explore in some more detail the constitutional issues at stake in the litigation that is likely to follow.

University of Illinois Repeals the First Amendment for Its Faculty

Brian Leiter | Posted 10.23.2014 | College
Brian Leiter

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees have now declared that the First Amendment does not apply to any tenured faculty at the University of Illinois.

Still Correct to Not Hire Anti-Israel Prof

Nathaniel Zelinsky | Posted 10.12.2014 | College
Nathaniel Zelinsky

Yesterday, Stanford professor David Palumbo-Liu wrote a response to my piece, in which he claims that I am either willfully ignorant or distort facts. Readers can sort much of this controversy for themselves. However, I would like to briefly address several of Palumbo-Liu's assertions.

A Reply to Nathaniel Zelinsky: 'Anti-Israel' Professor Shouldn't Have Been Fired

David Palumbo-Liu | Posted 10.11.2014 | College
David Palumbo-Liu

Critics of UIUC's action do so not to defend someone critical of Israel -- it is to defend all scholars against the capricious will of administrators to deny employment to faculty who hold unpopular beliefs.

How Westminster Theological Seminary Came to Define Fundamentalism for Me

Brandon G. Withrow | Posted 09.28.2014 | Religion
Brandon G. Withrow

Would you be surprised to learn that a tenured professor of the Old Testament is the center of controversy at a Christian seminary? What if I said he's "retiring" by action of the school's board--another way of saying "terminated," according to a former department chair? No? I didn't think so.

International Scholars Lend Support to Dissident Scholars in Israel

David Palumbo-Liu | Posted 09.21.2014 | Politics
David Palumbo-Liu

Today, as we watch the number of Palestinians who have been killed rise well above 500. Academics in the United States and Europe have been speaking out on the killings, writing opinion pieces and blogs, signing any number of petitions. But in Israel dissent is clearly much more difficult, and dangerous, to express.

Is 'Christian College' an Oxymoron?

Steven Conn | Posted 09.01.2014 | College
Steven Conn

Academic freedom isn't being restricted at Christian colleges, because none of those places acknowledges academic freedom as the core principle of higher education in the first place.

Denying Visas to Cuban Scholars Cripples Obama's Policy of Engagement

William M. LeoGrande | Posted 08.13.2014 | Politics
William M. LeoGrande

Despite the stalemate in relations between the U.S. and Cuban governments, President Barack Obama deserves credit for deepening relations between the ...

Commencement Speakers, Academic Freedom and the Pursuit of Excellence

Dr. Diana E. Sheets | Posted 07.19.2014 | Education
Dr. Diana E. Sheets

Intellectual growth necessitates becoming exposed to differing ideas and world views -- even if they threaten our core values and beliefs. To do less is to relinquish academic freedom in favor of social conformity.

Brown Out

Maxwell Kennedy | Posted 06.29.2014 | College
Maxwell Kennedy

I received an email this afternoon from Christina Paxson, the President of Brown University explaining that she would not comment about why Brown allowed a rapist to return to college after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a female student.

The Line Between Academic Freedom and Hate Speech

Erol Yayboke | Posted 06.15.2014 | Impact
Erol Yayboke

Differing opinions and the academic freedom to discuss them constitute the backbone of any university. But if anyone should know about the impact hate has on people, it is Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Boycotting Israel's Universities Is Wrong

Carlo Strenger | Posted 05.13.2014 | College
Carlo Strenger

For academic institutions everywhere, shutting off open discussion runs counter to the very foundations of academic life.