Standing Up for Global Academic Freedom

 

Next week, I head off to the United Kingdom to talk about global threats to free speech and academic freedom. As the Index on Censorship describes in its latest issue, there are many threats to academic freedom and free speech worldwide. However, as I write in my newest piece at The Huffington Post, it’s important to remember that these freedoms are also in trouble here at home in the United States.

College and university administrators are punishing professors’ freedom of expression left and right, even when it’s off-campus speech on their personal blogs or social media accounts. For instance, my organization, FIRE, has been closely following one major ongoing case at Marquette University, where a professor is facing termination for publicly criticizing a graduate student instructor who told a student not to oppose same-sex marriage in a philosophy class discussion.

But the greatest threat to academic freedom may not be from administrators, but rather from the Department of Education and its egregious federal overreach, as recently evidenced by Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis’s kafkaesque Title IX investigation.

Join me in signing on to the Index on Censorship’s open letter on protecting academic freedom. And head over to the The Huffington Post to read my whole piece and learn more about the threats to academic freedom both worldwide and here in the U.S.

There are 4 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    So, on this day in particular, a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the Academic Freedom issues -and I don’t really have much to add here -but I do appreciate the post.

    • #1
  2. Greg Lukianoff Contributor
    Greg Lukianoff
    @GregLukianoff

    Sabrdance:So, on this day in particular, a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the Academic Freedom issues -and I don’t really have much to add here -but I do appreciate the post.

    Yeah, I appreciate it. Should have posted about this earlier in the week!

    • #2
  3. Greg Lukianoff Contributor
    Greg Lukianoff
    @GregLukianoff

    Greg Lukianoff:

    Sabrdance:So, on this day in particular, a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the Academic Freedom issues -and I don’t really have much to add here -but I do appreciate the post.

    Yeah, I appreciate it. Should have posted about this earlier in the week!

    Although, come to think of it, there was NO slow news day this week.

    • #3
  4. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Academic freedom is not the same thing as proselytizing from the pulpit. I would think this would be a “welcomed” development: i.e. getting professors to stop interjecting their own beliefs in the classroom where it doesn’t belong. I.e., “teaching” and “academic freedom” aren’t the same thing.

    I get that this is done for the “wrong” reasons, but the idea should still be the same: maybe everyone should just shut up about these issues, if it’s not the appropriate setting for it.

    Second, students suing the professor isn’t the same thing as limiting academic freedom. They can sue all they want. They have that right.

    Third, these issues obviously often, if not exclusively, arise in the humanities and liberal arts, since often a) the topics they speak on are linked to controversial issues or b) the professors have very sharp ideological bends.

    They don’t arise in the vast majority of the university, however, because an engineering prof has no reason to speak about…abortion…for example. Nor should they.

    But here lies the problem: “conservatives” have decided long ago to abandon these fields in academia, instead of engaging in them. All you hear from “conservatives” these days is how bad academia is and how we shouldn’t go there anymore (I may be paraphrasing, but I’m not exaggerating).

    Well, this is what happens when you abandon the intellectual field. You get defeated. You get what you asked for.

    • #4

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.