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Academic Freedom

Catholic College Cancels Same-Sex Marriage Lecture

Posted 09.26.2013 | Religion

UPDATE Sept. 26 -- Providence College has released a message from the provost stating that, "The Administration’s decision to cancel the event ha...

Academe's Adversarial Culture

Gary A. Olson | Posted 11.23.2013 | College
Gary A. Olson

Far from a grand us-versus-them conspiracy, the scenario you will find without fail in every institution will be the same: Each administrator arguing vociferously and tenaciously for his or her faculty, staff, and programs.

Students: Exercise Your Intellectual Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 10.19.2013 | College
David Moshman

Come to school to think: Of course you should come to school to learn. But you should think about what you learn, how it relates to what you already know, and why you should (or shouldn't) believe it. This will enhance both your learning and your thinking.

Mrs. Jones, Coaches, and Grandma

William B. Bradshaw | Posted 09.25.2013 | Books
William B. Bradshaw

Competent professors and teachers can make such a difference in the lives of their students.

Indiana's Anti-Howard Zinn Witch-hunt

Bill Bigelow | Posted 09.18.2013 | Politics
Bill Bigelow

As someone who spent almost 30 years as a high school history teacher, I'm amused by the impoverished pedagogical vision embedded by Mitch Daniels.

Purity and Danger in Academia: The Strange Case of Chen Guangcheng at NYU

Susan D. Blum | Posted 08.19.2013 | Politics
Susan D. Blum

After his James Bond-like escape from house arrest with a broken foot in the dark last spring, blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng slipped to the U.S. embassy in Beijing -- and special arrangements took him to asylum at NYU Law School. And now Chen is being asked to leave NYU.

Does Academic Freedom Give Professors the Right to Teach Whatever They Want?

Victor Stenger | Posted 07.25.2013 | Science
Victor Stenger

In particular, academic freedom is not to be confused with the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. With academic freedom comes academic responsibility and scholarly integrity.

Sexual Harassment and Academic Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 07.24.2013 | College
David Moshman

The topic of sexuality is subject to the same principles of academic freedom as any other topic. Sexual harassment is wrong because it is harassment, not because it is sexual.

Internet Freedom Prof Denied Tenure for Human Rights Advocacy

Christian Sandvig | Posted 06.01.2013 | Technology
Christian Sandvig

Noted freedom of expression scholar Cherian George has been denied tenure by the Singaporean government against the wishes of his faculty. His error was explaining basic tenets of political philosophy in an editorial. I'm writing about it because this is an American problem.

The Creationist View Of Intolerance

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. | Posted 05.20.2013 | Religion
Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Issuing a warning, whether it be about bad sushi or bad theology, encouraging your friends to be careful about what they purchase, ought not open you up to charges of being intolerant. I'm disappointed that Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis can't see that simple point.

Unlearning Liberty: Hazelwood at 25

David Moshman | Posted 03.08.2013 | College
David Moshman

After 1988, as I anticipated, the news just kept getting worse. Although Hazelwood involved censorship of high school student journalists, the decision has been applied to a broad range of curricular contexts, to teachers as well as students, and to higher education.

Does Academic Freedom Not Apply to Criticism of Tenure?

James C. Wetherbe | Posted 02.12.2013 | College
James C. Wetherbe

Can the First Amendment protect academic freedom sans tenure? If it can, the academic freedom argument for tenure evaporates, which opens the door to reduce the cost of college at public universities.

A University Administrator Who Supported Academic Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 01.14.2013 | College
David Moshman

Sometimes administrators do the right thing. One who supported intellectual freedom on multiple occasions was E. Benjamin Andrews, who was honored November 3 by the Academic Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON) at its 25th annual membership meeting.

Making Research Matter: The Academy Versus Real-World Problems

Patricia Leavy, PhD | Posted 11.04.2012 | Education
Patricia Leavy, PhD

The major challenges of our time require researchers across the disciplines along with non-academic stakeholders to bring together their resources in order to address pressing needs and serve the public.

California State Assembly Seeks to Stifle Debate on Israel

Stephen Zunes | Posted 10.30.2012 | College
Stephen Zunes

The California State Assembly has just passed a bipartisan resolution by voice vote which constitutes a serious attack on academic freedom and the rights of students and faculty to raise awareness about human rights abuses by U.S.-backed governments.

Algebra, Zakaria and Lady Gaga

Patricia McGuire | Posted 10.20.2012 | DC
Patricia McGuire

As the Class of 2016 arrives on campus, my thoughts turn to algebra, Zakaria, and Lady Gaga -- shorthand for critical issues facing higher education today: What should our students learn? Will they learn enough about ethics? Who decides?

Sustaining Academic Freedom

Caroline Vanderlip | Posted 09.16.2012 | College
Caroline Vanderlip

Today, our academic freedom is imperiled, ironically, by one of its core tools: Textbooks. Or rather, imperiled by the increasing cost of these important learning materials.

Scientist Who Challenged Environmental Regulation in California Sues UCLA

Adam Kissel | Posted 08.14.2012 | College
Adam Kissel

If there is anywhere we need honest scientists who aren't on a mission to exclude whistleblowers, skeptics, and people with minority opinions, it is the American university.

Ward Churchill in the Journal of Academic Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 08.14.2012 | College
David Moshman

Churchill was fired in 2007 and brought a First Amendment lawsuit that remains in progress. Because his case raises crucial issues of academic freedom, it is important that the conclusions of the Colorado AAUP report be widely disseminated.

Should Creationist Teachers Have Academic Freedom?

David Moshman | Posted 07.08.2012 | Education
David Moshman

Academic freedom does not permit a teacher to ignore the approved curriculum or to indoctrinate a captive audience of students in his or her religious or political views, whatever those may be.

University of Michigan's Dubious Deal With Dow Chemical

Carol Polsgrove | Posted 06.20.2012 | Green
Carol Polsgrove

The terms of Dow Chemical's $10 million gift to the University of Michigan ought to raise eyebrows in universities across the country.

Evangelical Universities, Gay Students And Faculty Freedom

Ron Davis | Posted 06.13.2012 | Religion
Ron Davis

The logic of intolerance need only rest on two propositions: "The truth is of infinite value" and "I have the truth." This toxic combination has often led the well-intentioned into acts of oppression.

New 'Monkey Law' Imperils Science In Tennessee

Cara Santa Maria | Posted 07.23.2012 | Science
Cara Santa Maria

We live in the 21st century, the century of biotechnology. Without an appropriate understanding of evolution, students will be at a disadvantage in the workforce. And without an understanding of anthropogenic climate change, how can we expect Tennessee children to grow up to become members of an informed electorate?

Boston College, the Belfast Project and the Academy of Betrayal: Protection of Academic Freedom Until It Becomes Inconvenient

Harvey A. Silverglate | Posted 05.23.2012 | College
Harvey A. Silverglate

Over the course of the last year, Boston College has shown immense institutional cowardice and abrogated its responsibility as a protector of academic freedom.

Jane, You Ignorant Slut: Civility, Speech and Academic Freedom

David Moshman | Posted 05.13.2012 | College
David Moshman

We all have a First Amendment right to begin our arguments with some version of "Jane, you ignorant slut." We can't rely on censors to enforce civility. But we needn't say all the terrible things we're allowed to say.