Editor's Introduction - Volume 2

By Cary Nelson

Whether by chance or by fate, the Spring 2011 issue of the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom has turned out to be rather timely. At a moment when faculty unionization is paradoxically at once resurgent and under assault, Bill Lyne lays out rather clearly what its benefits can be for shared governance. John Champagne and John W. Powell mount philosophical, political, and pedagogical critiques of the relentlessly expanding assessment movement.

If essays arrive on the other side of that question, by the way, we would be happy to consider them. Philo Hutcheson uses a concise summary of the history of academic knowledge to ask whether the Internet's leveling effects will seriously undermine disciplinary authority. Ernst Benjamin responds in detail to a critique of the AAUP's report on the challenge of handling personnel decisions about politically controversial professors. Mazen Masri takes up the increasingly vexing problem of mideast politics on campus by analyzing how Canadian authorities dealt with conferences on the subject. In an essay dealing with student academic freedom, William Watts interrogates a university's decision to read a student's emails and take legal action based on his blogging. Donna Yarri and Spencer S. Stober seek a way to negotiate between faith and science at a Catholic university. Caitlin Rosenthal uses a case study to demonstrate how administrators endorsed tenure as a practical aid in hiring. Timothy Reese Cain and Steven E. Gump add to the journal's record of historical analyses. Christopher Newfield imagines a future in which deceptive financial practices and beliefs on higher education are finally supplanted by transparency and realism. And Dan Colson and Michael Verderame help us initiate a long overdue conversation about graduate student academic freedom.