ERIC Number: ED366262
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Freedom in American Higher Education: Rights, Responsibilities and Limitations. ERIC Digest.
Poch, Robert K.
This brief report summarizes a longer document with the same title in the ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report series. Academic freedom provides the foundation for faculty scholarship and teaching, making it possible for educators to exchange ideas and concepts freely in the classroom, to explore and disseminate new knowledge, and to speak out both as professionals and private citizens. It is important, therefore, that faculty members and administrators fully understand the issues and contexts that surround academic freedom in American higher education. This report briefly addresses the following issues: (1) what the popular notions are concerning academic freedom, (2) whether academic freedom is a legal right; (3) whether faculty at private institutions have the same rights as faculty in public schools; and (4) the current issues that affect academic freedom. While the basic notion of academic freedom stems from the 1940 "Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure" of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges in which the elements are specified, the U.S. Supreme Court has never granted academic freedom full constitutional status. Additionally, while faculty members at public educational institutions may enjoy some constitutional protection, faculty at private schools must rely mainly on contractual safeguards. Current issues significantly affecting academic freedom include artistic expression, political correctness, limitations initiated by church related colleges and universities, and subpoenaed research information. To adequately address these issues requires organizationally endorsed policies that clearly identify freedoms that are available and the role of faculty.(GLR)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Faculty College Relationship, Freedom of Information, Higher Education, Political Issues, Private Colleges, Professional Autonomy, Public Colleges, School Policy, Teacher Rights
ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, The George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1186 ($1; full report $18).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reports - General; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. School of Education and Human Development.
Identifiers: ERIC Digests
Note: For the full-length report, see HE 027 105.