ERIC Number: EJ818624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 15
Angela Davis and the Changing Paradigm of Academic Freedom in the 1960s
Aby, Stephen H.
American Educational History Journal, v34 n2 p289-301 2007
Prior to the 1960s, college and university faculty were treated as at-will employees, despite the establishment of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 1915 and the circulation after 1940 of its statement on academic freedom. Through the McCarthy period of the 1950s, faculty were not free either on or off campus to speak to sensitive political and economic topics without fear of reprisal. During the McCarthy period itself, faculty were at risk if they failed to sign loyalty oaths or associated with prohibited organizations. In the 1960s, however, attacks on liberal or radical faculty took a new and more subtle turn. More sophisticated university administrations and boards of trustees began to speak of the sanctity of the marketplace-of-ideas and the violation of institutional neutrality by radical faculty. The overt anti-communist evaluative criteria of the 1950s, and the earlier treatment of faculty as at-will employees, were replaced by more nuanced, yet just as ideologically-biased standards. This article examines the new rationales for disciplining faculty in light of the cases of Angela Davis and H. Bruce Franklin, as well as Ronald Reagan and the FBI's campaign against faculty and students at the University of California in the 1960s. The conclusion will attempt to draw some parallels with the current debates over the Academic Bill of Rights.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Faculty College Relationship, Employer Employee Relationship, Academic Freedom, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Sanctions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
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