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ERIC Number: EJ914906
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Defending Academic Freedom in the Age of Garcetti
DelFattore, Joan
Academe, v97 n1 p18-21 Jan-Feb 2011
As the 2006 Supreme Court decision in "Garcetti v. Ceballos" continues to reverberate in academe, the best way for faculty members to defend their academic freedom is not through the courts but through clear university policies. A promising alternative to the First Amendment approach is to follow the example of private universities in defining academic freedom as a professional standard embodied in university policies. Courts have said that administrators at public universities may penalize faculty speech, not that they must do so. Indeed, the Supreme Court recommended in "Garcetti" that government employers who wish to protect employees' free speech should enact regulations for that purpose. In the 2009 report "Protecting an Independent Faculty Voice: Academic Freedom after Garcetti v. Ceballos," an American Association of University Professors (AAUP) subcommittee suggested three versions of model post-"Garcetti" academic freedom language to be adapted for use in university documents. Unlike court decisions, which tend to apply one-size-fits-all precedents to all academic freedom cases, this approach allows each institution to shape its own policies to reflect its individual culture, values, and priorities. Collective bargaining agreements provide secure legal protection for such statements, which may also be embodied in faculty handbooks and other university documents. Among these statements is one from the author's own institution, the University of Delaware (UD), and she offers UD's experience in developing this policy as a case study that might prove useful to other universities. Although UD's effort took place in the context of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, the underlying issues pertain to the development of such statements no matter where they will be housed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment