ERIC Number: EJ746692
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: N/A
What Does "Academic Freedom" Mean?
Academe, v92 n6 p35-38 Nov-Dec 2006
This plenary address from the AAUP's annual meeting says that it is time to clear away the obfuscating rhetoric and emphasize the urgency of this basic democratic principle. Michael Berube argues that not only is academic freedom under attack, but that what the society is now dealing with is a coordinated program of obfuscation about just what academic freedom means. The principle of academic freedom developed by the AAUP stipulates that "teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties," meaning that professors should have intellectual autonomy from legislatures, trustees, alumni, parents, and ecclesiastical authorities with regard to their teaching and research. However, the paradox of efforts to legislate an "academic bills of rights" based on the work of David Horowitz, former New Leftist turned conservative firebrand, is this: they claim to defend academic freedom precisely by promising to give the state direct oversight of course curricula, of departmental hiring practices, and of the intellectual direction of academic fields. In other words, by violating the very principle they claim to defend. Berube argues that, "If you believe in the ideals of the open society and the intellectual legacies of the Enlightenment, you should believe in the ideal of professors' intellectual independence from the state -- and you should believe that it is an ideal worth defending."
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Political Attitudes, Politics of Education, Teacher Rights, Personal Autonomy, Higher Education
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aaup.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Fourth Amendment