ERIC Number: EJ776005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Freedom vs. Community Values?
Keller, David R.
Academe, v93 n5 p47-50 Sep-Oct 2007
A frequent refrain in Utah County, which prides itself on being one of the most conservative communities in the country, is that its public institution of higher education, Utah Valley State College, should reflect "community values." Generally, the argument goes something like this: local taxpayers, who support the school, should not have to tolerate events that fail to reflect the common morality. This includes events involving invited speakers. In this article, the author talks about the tension between the adherence of "community values" and academic freedom in UVSC. The author's recent experience as director of the Center for the Study of Ethics has persuaded him that public institutions of higher education must remain true and faithful to their indispensable role in an open, democratic, pluralistic society. Although colleges and universities must acknowledge and respect the unique values of the students they serve in order to create a healthy learning atmosphere, he asserts that they must not be held hostage to political expediency. They must be sensitive to varied and deeply rooted community values, but they must also respond to the demands of the people who fund the school and whom the school serves.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Social Values, State Colleges, Academic Freedom, Ethics, School Responsibility, Social Attitudes, Moral Values, Political Attitudes, College Role, Democracy, Cultural Pluralism, Public Opinion
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 - Location: Utah