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ERIC Number: ED473369
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Freedom: A Precarious Balance.
LaNear, John A.
Academic freedom is an elusive concept. Many university and college faculty members who purport to possess its protections believe they have a solid understanding of its nature and of the individual rights secured by academic freedom. There is some consensus on the meaning of the term in the academic universe. This concurrence of understanding is not evidenced, however, in judicial pronouncements. Pronouncements of the United States Supreme Court regarding this freedom are vague and unstructured, offering little guidance to lower courts and litigants. The author of this paper argues that when the Court suggested academic freedom was entitled to Constitutional protection, it did not originally intend to subjugate the rights of individual faculty members to those of the collective institution. Changes in university and college structures, coupled with broad Court pronouncements, are leading to the diminution of individual faculty members academic freedoms. Unfortunately, an early misunderstanding of Justice Frankfurter's concurrence in the "Sweezy versus New Hampshire" case has led to a number of questionable decisions relating to individual faculty members' academic freedom. As a result, the protections of academic freedom are to be found in the relationships of faculty members and their institutions. (Contains 36 references.) (RT)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A