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Academic Freedom

Civility and Academic Freedom after Salaita

The Salaita case raises at least three distinct issues: (1) the right of faculty to speak out in public on matters of public concern; (2) the academic freedom of academic departments to make academic decisions; and (3) the role of civility in education. Uncivil speech is generally protected by the First Amendment,  but within educational contexts this does not hold. Even where censorship of uncivil speech is legally permissible, however, it is a serious threat to academic freedom. Educators can promote civility without censorship.

Professor Salaita's Intramural Speech

Much of the discourse about the Steven Salaita case seems premised on misunderstandings of concepts that are fundamental to the professoriate. Among these are the distinction between extramural and intramural utterance. Professor Salaita’s tweets, because they directly invoke his area of academic authority, should be considered intramural utterance. 

Garcetti and Salaita: Revisiting Academic Freedom

This article revisits the legal concept of academic freedom in the wake of Professor Steven Salaita’s dehiring and the 2006 US Supreme Court decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos. It examines four key post-Garcetti decisions, each of which illustrates a potential solution to courts facing issues of academic freedom, and each of which has different implications for Professor Salaita’s dehiring. The article also proposes a new legal concept of academic freedom that would empower rather than restrict professors.

Everything Old Is New Again: Bertrand Russell and Steven Salaita

The decision by trustees of the University of Illinois to revoke a tenured position offered to Steven Salaita evokes another, long-ago controversy. In 1940, a New York court revoked the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a faculty position at the College of the City of New York, in part because of Russell’s allegedly “immoral” writings. It is difficult, if not impossible, to simultaneously deplore Russell’s firing and support Salaita’s.

Editor's Introduction - Volume 6

This is introduction to Volume 6 of the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom by the journal's editor, Michael Bérubé. He explains that half of the journal's articles discuss the controversy surrounding Steven Salaita and his "dehiring" by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The other eight articles in the volume discuss other pressing issues, including challenges to and violations of AAUP policies and principles.

Editor's Introduction - Volume 5

In this introduction to Volume 6 of the Journal of Academic Freedom, Ashley Dawson introduces articles centered on the issue of electronic communications and academic freedom. The volume examines how changing technologies and the changing professional landscape impact academic freedom.

‘To Make Collective Action Possible’: The Founding of the AAUP

The article reviews the developments that led to the founding of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Events before, during, and following the founding meeting in 1915, as well as the efforts of two of its founders, Arthur Lovejoy and E.R.A. Seligman, brought about the early focus on academic freedom.

Religion, Sectarianism, and the Pursuit of Truth: Reexamining Academic Freedom in the Twenty-First Century

This essay offers a friendly critique of our customary understanding of academic freedom. Focusing on religiously affiliated institutions, Kenneth Garcia considers sectarian obstacles to academic freedom and places academic freedom in historical and theological perspective.

The Two Cultures of Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and Their Impact on Academic Freedom

Like C.P. Snow's two cultures of the humanities and the sciences, a new bimodal view of higher education is becoming increasingly important at the start of the twenty-first century: one that sees the goal of universities as developing "the whole person" and another that sees it as largely or even exclusively in terms of job training.


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